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Friday, July 28, 2006

A Kenyan Story: Errant Buru Buru Husband Learns His Lesson The Hard Way

Some stories are just too strange to be fiction and the one you are about to read falls neatly into this category.

This long suffering Kenyan wife knew her husband well and especially his promiscuity, but stayed in the marriage for the sake of her children. She did this at great risk to her life because we all know that these days, a husbands' infidelity can cost a wife their life though the dreaded Aids (okay, even a wife's infidelity can, but those cases are somewhat extremely rare.)

The couple moved into this new neighborhood and as usual the husband started playing his "games". It did not matter that the focus of his attention was a married woman whose husband traveled a lot. The woman lived right next door to them.

Luckily the young woman struck a friendship with the errant husband's wife (let us call the errant man "Jogoo").

Jogoo knew about the friendship and that is why he was a little surprised when the woman suddenly started softening towards his advances. To the extent where she invited him for a night of passionate lovemaking, as long as he followed her instructions to the letter. Jogoo could not believe his ears and at first thought that the woman was joking. But he soon realized that she was dead serious. He brushed aside any doubts he may have had by telling himself that most women found him irresistible.

The day of his "hot" date could not come soon enough but finally it arrived and Jogoo was in very high spirits the whole of that day, really looking forward with all his heart to the panned activities of the night. Of all his "conquests", this one had to be the most major. The young neighbors wife was extremely attractive and was now his wife's best friend. Meaning that she desired him so much that she was prepared to risk her friendship with his wife – what a turn on, Jogoo thought to himself. He decided to while the hours away having a few drinks at the nearby "local." His instructions were clear. He was to come in after midnight when chances of the woman's husband showing up unexpectedly were virtually nil. He had also been told not to switch on any lights (you never know which nosy neighbor would spot him, and tell his wife).

He kept himself amused flirting with the huge pot-bellied bar maid who obviously enjoyed his advances immensely. But then he was really no longer interested in her having already enjoyed her favors within a day or two of moving into the neighborhood.

Finally he glanced at his watch and noted that it was a minute or so to midnight. He hurriedly swallowed his last beer and left the bar almost running. He passed his own house and noted that all the lights were off, meaning that his wife had already gone to bed.

He went in through the back and found the key under the mat just as he had been told. Once inside, he locked the door behind him and tiptoed upstairs into his neighbor's bedroom.

She was waiting for him. The first thing that hit him as he entered the bedroom was her perfume. Very feminine but it also smelt like wild flowers. What followed was a night of wild lovemaking with the neighbor's wife. He fell into an exhausted sleep and by the time he woke up the sun was already shining through the still-drawn curtains. Events of the night came flooding back and he turned around with a wide smile to face his neighbor's wife with the thought being intimate one last time. Instead he got the shock of his life.

Lying there right next to him, eyes open and looking straight at him was his dear wife!!

His wife congratulated him for displaying a passion that she had never known him for. Jogoo was too shocked to say anything.

Apparently the two wives had decided to teach him a lesson and to carry out an experiment that proved what psychologists have always been saying – that sex is really in the mind. They had switched places and Jogoo's own wife had worn her friend's night dress and used her perfume and waited eagerly for her own errant husband, who had not recognized her in the dark bedroom and amazingly during the entire long night of lovemaking.

The person who sent me this story left too many questions unanswered. For instance what happened to the marriage after this? Did it get better or worse?

They only ended the story by stating the obvious, that Jogoo learnt a lesson that he would never forget and that his errant ways ended that night.

Can somebody please finish this (true, real life experience) tale for us and tell us exactly what happened.

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Previous Hot stories in this series:

A True Kenyan Story: A Doctor’s Revenge

A True Kenyan Story: Matatu Nightmare

Couples Reunion At The Airport After 6 Long Years, Turns Ugly
==========================
If you're thinking of a holiday in the states then Orlando is the by far the most popular holiday destination in the United States. The focus on family living has spurred residential development over the years on the edge of downtown called Baldwin Park, a traditional neighborhood with architecture reminiscent of the pre-1940's era in Central Florida. Imagine the perfect Florida vacation in an Orlando Rental Home here. To help make your dream come true, you will need to get in touch with Buyers Broker of Florida, a unique exclusive Buyer Agency Office

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Kumekucha Presidential Campaign: The 9 Year Old Dead Kenyan And The Saddest Day Of My Life

One of the saddest days of my life was one Saturday in the year 2000 when I traveled to Meru with my wife for a friend’s funeral. Our hired matatu gave a lift to a young couple carrying the body of their 9 year-old daughter in a tiny cheap coffin in the carrier.

I hardly knew them but we got talking and the mother burst into tears as she narrated the optimism of the young girl as she fought death. It was the sort of optimism you would expect from a 9-year old who did not know better.

I still shed plenty of tears when I remember that encounter. I cry because many Kenyans today have never been given half a chance in their lives, let alone one chance. Because of the greed of our politicians and our corrupt system, many of our people through no fault of their own do not have a chance of ever making anything of their lives. Even if they wanted to bribe, they do not have a rich relative to bribe on their behalf. If they get sick, like that young Kenyan girl who died in 2000, chances of recovering are slim because there is no money to get them proper medical care. There is no doubt on my mind that had that girl had rich parents, she would still be alive today.

I cry all the more because the kindest thing that probably happened to that 9 year old beauty was the fact that she did not live to see her dreams shattered by the cruel and corrupt Kenyan system where if you do not have money, you are basically done.

It is a system I understand very well having lived in a slum area and used pit latrines (a luxury) in those areas. And this was after I had been brought up in a fairly good middle class Kenyan home in my younger days.

It is a system that I will fight with all my strength to destroy so that any Kenyan prepared to work hard and to use their God-given gift can be able to make something out of their lives.

We need to create as many jobs as we can for Kenyans. We need to create as many opportunities as we can for average and low income Kenyans.

Fellow Kenyans, the world has become a small village where to survive both as a nation and as an individual, you need a constant flow of new ideas and then you need to concentrate on the areas where you are good enough to compete with the world.

There is no doubt that this current government has run out of ideas.

The promised 500,000 jobs a year will never happened under the current administration. Do you know the reason why? Nobody really sat down to soberly work out where such a vast volume of brand new jobs were going to come from. The assumption was that if they got the economy moving again, the jobs would be generated automatically. This did not happen. I can also assure you that such a large number of new jobs will not come from reviving stalled parastatals (this was Narc’s chief game plan). In fact in the effort by the current government to try and revive these stalled parastatals, they have failed completely to acknowledge the continuing effects of globalization and the impact it has on our economy.

Whether we like it or not, the world has become a small village that is continuously shrinking in size. The biggest impact of this is that ready or not it thrusts us out into the world economy to compete with the best in the world.

I will give you one recent example. VOIP or voice over internet protocol has made it possible to use the net to carry “voice”. This means that it is now possible to talk with somebody based at the furthest ends of the earth for hours for next to nothing. Your only cost will be your usual ISP charges. This is done by using facilities in popular free email hosts like Yahoo and MSN. For a small fee, you can use specialized web services that will enable you to reach any telephone number (mobile or landlines) anywhere in the world. So all of a sudden a parastatal like Telekom Kenya that has always made huge profits from international calls gets that profit centre wiped out by new developments in the world of telecommunications on the web. This happens almost overnight.

You can be sure that the current globalization trends will continue with a vengeance for years to come. Menaing that many dead parastatals will stay that way – very dead.

What we must do as a nation is focus all our efforts in a completely new direction on what we can do well. On areas where we can compete on the global marketplace. If we do this then we will be able to create solid long term jobs as well as strengthen our economy enormously.

Tourism is one such area and rather than try and invest money in manufacturing, where we’ll have to get past the likes of China. Why not put the money in tourism and agriculture where we can show China and most of the world a thing or two? Don’t get me wrong. We will not discourage foreign investors who want to come into Kenya and take advantage of the well trained and cheap labor that we can offer. But our priorities should be very clear in terms of very specific areas we want to develop where we can compete with the best in the world.

Another example of an area where Kenyans are world beaters is in middle and long distance running. There is a lot of money in sports these days and it is one way of creating wealth very quickly in our country. We need to create special training camps and encourage more “talent” in this area. This may not create jobs directly and not in the volumes we are thinking of here indirectly, but it will help add up.

The place to get our 500,000 jobs plus has to be in agriculture and food processing industries. The way to do it is to produce world class products at a price that few in the world can compete with. I have already said that energy is one area where minimal investment into available idle resources we already have in the country can yield much.

Another area is small and micro-sized businesses. Kenyans have already displayed admirable entrepreneurial skills and if we are making waves in places like South Africa, then it is clear evidence that we can compete with the best in the world.

Currently what we are doing is discouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in our people. The constant clashes with hawkers is a good example here.

I intend to make serious efforts to find and create affordable space in good busy locations for hawkers and small traders. I intend to launch programs for training entrepreneurs and support programs to have small entrepreneurs supply various services and products to the government and to other Kenyans.

Business incubators that take in small entrepreneurs and give them the environment to grow will be a major priority. Every successful small business will probably employ only a handful of Kenyans directly. But if we target at developing just 200, 000 new small businesses countrywide every year, we can comfortably create one million new jobs every year in this way alone.

I also intend to work with NGOs already on the ground and experienced financial institutions already lending to small business. By offering collateral and government guarantees for unsecured small business loans, the potential for growth in the country will be exploited.

Kenyans are currently mostly idle but very eager to work. They just need the opportunities. This is one presidential candidate that pledges to spend a lot of effort in creating vast new opportunities for all.

Small businesses can also make a major contribution to tax collection. By simply introducing a small standard tax rate for small businesses generating One million shillings or less in turnover annually and by having policies in place to encourage the emergence and growth of these businesses, billions in new taxes can land at the exchequer which will further help in new government funded initiatives to create even more jobs.

One other area where small business incubators need to be set up is in the area of ecommerce. I have a program in mind for building web sites to help sell and promote Kenyan products and produce to the world. The kind of sales being achieved by successful web sites all over the world is enormous and growing. If we managed to create a couple of dozen successful web sites selling Kenyan produce to the world, the im[pact would be enormous. Whether we see it or not and whether we like it or not, the Internet is the future and the future is already with us.

One reader asked whether this presidential candidate I am prepared to put my vision and promises in writing. This site is already one such place where my vision and ideas for a better Kenya is being put in writing. I encourage other Kenyans with sites to copy the content here and paste them in their sites (with the proper acknowledgement please) so that there is a record that can never be deleted. That is because I am very sincere in ensuring that I mean what I say and I say what I mean and most important of all I will do everything in my power to turn everything I say into reality.

Kenyans deserve much better than what they have gotten so far.
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Friday, July 14, 2006

Kumekucha Presidential Campaign:Why Is This Missing From Kenya?

This candidate, although young, is certainly not naïve. Many people have often reminded me that the kind of financial resources required to run a successful presidential or political campaign of the magnitude we are talking about here is colossal.

Others have been even more blunt. There is no way you will just give people your good ideas and fail to give cash handouts. It will not work.

My reply has been simple and has been in the form of a question. How much money did Narc use in 2002?

"Oh that was different. That was a wave," somebody told me a few days ago.

I do not wish to dwell too much on this issue. It is true that at some point financial resources will be required. When the time comes I am sure a way will be found, and indeed I am working on it as any good manager would, but meanwhile I have to use what I have, not only financial resources but assets and attributes.

Which brings me to what I want to say today. Has anybody done a SWOT analysis of Kenya before embarking on development projects or creating policy? I want to keep this very simple. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threats. It is the analysis done by marketing experts before arriving at their marketing strategy.

But it is a very useful tool for even an individual to use. You analyze your strengths and weaknesses and based on them you decide where the opportunities will most likely be for your profile and while keeping a close eye on possible threats, you arrive at your strategy to market and sell yourself to success. Works beautifully even where you are looking for a job in a market where they are very scarce like is the case in Kenya today.

What are our strengths in Kenya today and how can we use them to our advantage?

Today I will keep this short and give you only one example. My web traffic figures show me that I may be losing readers in this very important section because the posts are too long, so I have decided to keep them as brief as possible.

The Kenyan labour force is huge and well trained and currently most of it is idle and desperate and that's why the crime rate is where it is. I have heard the deep pocketed South African entrepreneurs who have swept across the continent in the last few years taking over everything, saying that they fear only the Kenyans in Africa. I was surprised because I expected them to mention Nigeria first.

Kenyans are today seen as a threat in the commercial arena and everywhere where jobs are being competed for right across the continent and beyond.

This labour force is one of our strengths and a very valuable asset, which I intend to put to good use, if elected president. Every policy, decision and strategy of government must be directed at utilizing this asset. This is the asset that will turn the Kenyan economy into The China of Africa.

The secret or the trick that will make all the difference is in directing our labour and efforts to areas where there is a huge demand both within the country and outside. One such area is the energy sector. One does not need to be a genius to realize that the world is drifting towards a very serious energy crisis. My vision for Kenya is people-driven economic growth, which will naturally put a lot of strain on certain resources, one of them being the energy resources. This means that any effort to produce energy at a cheaper rate than what we currently have will be wildly successful.

Something else we have in plenty in Kenya is sunshine. Scientists say that the amount of energy we receive from the sun in ONE MINUTE is enough to take care of all the world's energy needs for a FULL YEAR.

Solar energy and steam energy generated using the sun in Kenya's vast dry and hot regions can supply more than enough energy. Which we will be able to use and even export to our neighbors. These projects can be implemented in such a way that they are made as labour intensive as possible while keeping the cost down. This should not be too difficult considering that energy costs are already quite high and rising in the region. I am familiar with this technology having spend a brief stint working with a leading solar and alternative energy company in the region and I can tell you that it is very possible and very viable.

It is important that we make use of all the idle resources and assets that we have in plenty in Kenya but do not seem to see at the moment.

I want to end this by asking two questions and then answering them. Firstly, why is it that in Kenya we have never looked to use our strengths and assets? The sad answer is that we have been too busy with corruption to see the opportunities anywhere else. Because the tradition has been to use public office to enrich oneself, our leaders in the past have directed all their thinking and creativity towards finding innovative ways to steal from the public. The result is scams like Goldenberg that have cost the country billions and will take us many years to recover from.

The second question, which I've been asked, am I not afraid that another candidate will steal all my good ideas and present them as his own? The answer is that I am keeping very careful track of that and besides many of the older generation politicians we have today are focusing all their efforts on specifically saying what will please the electorate without really meaning it. A good example is the sweeping Narc statement that they will create 500,000 jobs a year and yet it is now clear that they did not have any clue as to how exactly they were going to do that.

President Moi put it very crudely and I want to repeat what he said here and was reported in the then People weekly newspaper. I am doing this not to offend the nice ladies who are the majority of my readers currently, but to show Kenyans exactly what the old order of Kenyan politics is all about.
Siasa ni kama mwanamke. Unapembeleza na mabo matamau lakini ukishatongoza yeye, bas. This roughly translates as; "The game of politics is like a relationship with a woman. You tell her all sorts of sweet nothings but after you have had sex with her, that’s it."

Kenyan voters please take careful note.

Anybody who steals these ideas will be exposed for who they really are, but even before that, they will have to back up their ideas with solid strategy and substance. That is not very easy to do with somebody else's ideas.

Besides Kenyan voters will not be easily cheated this time.

I do not mind exposing my driving force, what makes me different. It is the fact that I dream different dreams. Most of the politicians we know will dream of relaxing at State House (that's how people start getting ideas of putting up Kshs 100 million buildings in State House, while our people go hungry), a large presidential motorcade and inspecting guards of honour. The last two are both meaningless relics of the colonial era.

I dream of sleepless nights and a punishing 20-hour schedule. I dream of such sweeping positive changes coming for the ordinary Kenyan that they will be virtually impossible to reverse. I dream of a country prosperous and moving forward at high speed. I dream of a presidency that will be too busy in the thick of things and directing efforts that there will hardly be the time to inspect guards of honor. I dream of a presidency where honor will come from one source and one source alone. The ordinary, now struggling people of Kenya whose lives will have been changed by the efforts I will direct with all my strength, energy and being.

My fellow Kenyan, read very carefully between the lines to discover what your favorite presidential candidate really dreams about.

Link to two previous POSTS

Kumekucha launches Presidential campaign

Kumekucha’s Presidential Campaign: We Need One Priority, We Need Lots Of Creativity

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Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay: Reception: 48%-50% Ceremony: 2%-3% Attire: 8%-10% Flowers: 8%-10% Entertainment/Music: 8%-10% Photography/Videography: 10%-12% Stationery: 2%-3% Wedding Rings: 2%-3% Parking/Transportation: 2%-3% Gifts: 2%-3% Miscellaneous: 8%. To avoid last minute heart failure, allocate about 5% of your budget for a "just-in-case" fund.

When approached with the seriousness it deserves planning this important occasion right down to the wedding cameras need not be too stressful.

Couples Reunion At The Airport After 6 Long Years, Turns Ugly

What happened between Mwema and Dorothy (not thei real names) at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) the other day, made me realize how common this problem must be for many Kenyans all over the world these days.

The situation in our country has forced many Kenyans to seek greener pastures outside by going to seek jobs in foreign countries. Many times, it has not been possible for spouses to tag along. The result has been long years of separation. Long years of previously married people going back to living like bachelors.

The following is a reconstruction based on an eyewitness account and on the bitter words that were exchanged in loud voices and actually caused a scene.

Dorothy had left the country for the United States by being part of a group that were going for a special convention somewhere in the States. The meeting was being held in a State where she knew a number of friends and so it was easy for her to miss her flight back to Kenya. For the next six years she worked long and hard to make money in the land of opportunity. It was much harder than she had expected, she would say in her regular communication with her husband Mwema. Mwema was a very responsible man and looked after the couple's children as well as taking care of the home. Dorothy would send money regularly and as a result of her efforts the couple now had not only a plot somewhere in Nairobi, but they had also constructed rental houses.

Mwema had really looked forward to this day with all his heart. He had not made love to his wife for 6 long years and he was so much looking forward to it that he had organized things so that on the way from the airport they would pass a city hotel for a "second honeymoon." But it was not to be.

The minute Mwema saw his wife he knew that there was something that was very wrong. Her smile was not quite hearty enough. It did not reach the eyes. She finally came through and they hugged.

"Where are the children?" Was Dorothy's first question.

"They are at school. I've really missed you Dorothy. How have you been?"

"Could the children not miss school for a day as important as this?"

"But I had plans and…"

"Mwema, you will have to be tested."

Mwema could not believe his ears and it took him sometime before he could digest those words so as to be able to reply.

"What test?"

Dorothy tried to whisper under her breath at as they walked through the busy arrivals area at JKIA. "AIDS."

"You must be joking."

"I have never been more serious in my life."

To cut a long story short, tempers rose and what followed was an ugly scene where several Kenyans were treated to the intimate details of this marriage as accusations and counter accusations flew. What really seemed to irk Mwema was the fact that Dorothy seemed to have set up an intelligence unit, which he had been aware of the whole time, to monitor his movements. Mwema's point was that people who did not trust each other had no reason to get married in the first place. Dorothy's point was that all men are created weak and although the spirit may be willing the flesh is always terribly weak.

The couple left in different taxis after the intervention of security personnel at the airport who urged them to continue their lively debate in the privacy of their home.

The whole incident made me think of my own marriage. If it were to happen and we were parted with my wife for many years. Would I insist on an AIDS test? It is an issue that is still disturbing my mind.
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Send in a true story of something that happened to you or somebody whom you know.

Depending on the nature of your true story, we will be happy to keep your identity and email secret. Remember that this is a Kenyan site and therefore you increase the chances of getting your story published if Kenyans can identify with it. We are specially looking for real life stories that reflect on how life is for Kenyans either in Kenya or anywhere else in the world.

Email your story to us today at umissedthis at yahoo dot com (written like this to avoid robots from spammers that scan text for email addresses)

Previous Hot stories in this series:

A True Kenyan Story: A Doctor’s Revenge

A True Kenyan Story: Matatu Nightmare

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

TJ We Remember: A Photo Tribute To Tom Mboya From Kumekucha



Tom Mboya was one of the most prominent personalities in Kenyan history. He was born Thomas Joseph Mboya on 15th August 1930 and was assassinated at the tender age of 39 on 5th July 1969. It is widely believed that his profile and illustrious career as a brilliant and charismatic leader, which was seen as a challenge to the then political establishment, led to his assassination.




Tom Mboya arriving at Uhuru Park for what was to be his last Madaraka day June 1st 1969. He's with his wife Pamela and two children. At this point things were tough politically, but would he have guessed that he would be dead in about a month's time?


More on Tom Mboya.
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Kumekucha's Presidential Campaign 2007: We Need One Priority, We Need Lots of Creativity

Kumekucha's Presidential Campaign 2007



"If an economy is moving, tax it, if it keeps on moving regulate it, if it stalls subsidize it."
- Former US President Ronald Reagan-



No management, let alone government, can be successful without focusing on one key priority issue at a time. The problem we have in Kenya is that we accept to be cheated by presidential candidates who paint a rosy picture of many things that they are going to do. No candidate stands for anything let alone a certain key priority they want to address. And where they pretend to, they have no idea of how they are going to go about it.

And our governments are worse when they come into power because it soon becomes very clear that the leaders had no other agenda but to get power for power's sake.

This presidential campaign will focus on one key priority. Job creation. Naturally this has a lot to do with the economy. But I intend to focus on job creation in every single thing that the government does and in economic policies and even daily decision-making.

It starts with very little things. For example, today it is very difficult for an ordinary Kenyan who wants to seek employment abroad to get a passport. Yet criminals obtain them in a very short time, through corruption or by getting a forged one. So who are all the security measures in obtaining a passport targeted against? It is the common man who wants to improve his lot.

The government should make it very easy for any Kenyan to obtain a passport. Missions abroad will start doing some useful work and help channel information about jobs open to the international market. There will be an aggressive effort by everybody to get as many Kenyans as possible working.

At home we will promote small business like never before. It is a known fact that worldwide job creation these days happens in small and micro enterprises and not large factories like the Kenya Meat Commission which has recently been revived. And neither does it happen with massive foreign investments like was the case in the 70s. Both are good things to happen, but the really significant job creation will happen with small enterprises. The strategy I have in mind will involve both funding and training on a massive scale in partnership with banks and non-governmental organizations already working on the ground. It will also be necessary to create new government organizations specifically charged with promoting small enterprise.

Government procurement of items like stationary does not need to be left to large companies when it can be given to dozens of small businesses. In the past we have been giving lip service to the promotion of small business and then turning round to promote and sustain big business in everything we do. Big business can take care of itself, and anyway they are downsizing and rapidly increasing unemployment.

We need to get very creative here and certain tax waivers can be granted to companies that maintain large work forces. In fact tax policy can be designed to favor larger work forces.

We need more creative solutions to the so-called hawker and kiosk menace. These would appear to be a menace in the thinking of the 70s. Actually I intend to explore ways to use these two great Kenyan enterprises to create massive job opportunities. There is little point in urging the nation to work when there are no jobs and no opportunities. I intend to create the opportunities and the jobs and I know most Kenyans will gladly work. They hardly need to be reminded to work.

All in all I will strive to find creative ways to create employment for Kenyans both at home and abroad.

Somebody may complain that we are promoting the continued brain drain from our country with professionals being attracted to work in other countries. My question is why do we want to keep people in the country when we do not have the opportunities for them yet? Kenya has a massive, highly qualified work force that is second to none in Africa. Travel across the continent and you will see what I am talking about. We have PS's and other senior government bureaucrats working in countries like Namibia and Botswana, and we have Kenyan entrepreneurs involved in all sorts of businesses spread right across the continent from South Africa to North Africa, from Cape to Cairo. More will be found in many countries in the West and elsewhere. These Kenyans are the main reason why the Kenyan shilling stubbornly remains so strong today against major foreign currencies. While the government slept, foreign inflows from nationals living and working abroad has become one of the major foreign exchange earners in the country. But the problem is that the people in power stuck in the thinking (and time-warp) of the 70s are confused. In their book, this sort of thing has never been considered to be a serious foreign exchange earner and therefore they have even been reluctant to find ways of keeping accurate figures.

A new government should work to improve and rapidly increase opportunities for Kenyans to work abroad because apart from anything else, it gives them skill and experience that they can then bring back home in future when we rise to be the super power we really are.

Let me end by saying that if we can succeed in creating jobs, we will have been able to deal with so many other serious problems facing our nation today. A good example is crime. How can you expect crime not to be on the rise in a nation where unemployment stands at over 40% and growing?

A constant healthy flow of foreign currency into the county from nationals working abroad and from productive Kenyans within the country means that the government can be able to comfortably finance itself without seeking foreign aid.

We need to change direction and focus from an economy that benefits a few privileged Kenyans to one that has an impact on the greatest number of Kenyans possible. A good place to start is to escape from the thinking of the past.

This presidential candidate only has one agenda, job creation.

A True Kenyan Story: Matatu Nightmare

When I boarded the matatu headed for my rural home in Nyeri that fateful day in 2001, it never crossed my mind that there was such great horror ahead for me and the other female passengers in that vehicle.

If anything, it had been very reassuring that a thorough search had been carried out on all passengers prior to our boarding the matatu at the popular Nyamakima bus stage, in downtown Nairobi. Matatu-jackings had become too common and this precaution was very re-assuring because it meant that there was nobody onboard carrying a gun.

The journey was uneventful until we were a few kilometres from reaching our destination. A very young man that you would never suspect who was seated at the front of the Nissan minibus next to the driver asked the driver to drop him off at a very dark remote place on the main road. It sounded like a reasonable request. After all it was now dark and it made sense for somebody to be dropped off as close as possible to where they were going, although the place was so dark that it didn't look like anybody lived anywhere close by for miles around.

The moment the vehicle stopped there was a commotion at the back and three other young men (they couldn't have been more than 19 years old) emerged brandishing guns.

I was seated around the middle of the matatu and I froze in horror and went numb. Everything started happening in a hallucinatory way, like it was happening to somebody else or in a movie. There had been a total of 4 car-jackers in the matatu. They took over the vehicle and drove off the main road into the bush for several minutes. We finally stopped in what appeared to be a small clearing.

They proceeded to swiftly rob passengers of all their valuables at gunpoint. Wallets, mobile phones and all sorts of valuables were all put inside a makeshift sack they had fashioned from several shirts belonging to passengers. But the nightmare was only just beginning.

All passengers were then asked to strip naked and our clothes put in a heap. We stood there shivering out of fright and the chilly night air. We were then ordered at gun point to have sex with each other. I saw at least two of the gangsters also involved in the rape of passengers but they used condoms, which were also later recovered from the scene of the crime by the police.

At least two people penetrated me. One an elderly man who was stinking of sweat. It was all too horrible to imagine, let alone be involved in. It continued for what looked like forever. Finally we realized that the gangsters had left (with our clothes as well, so that it was difficult for us to seek help).

My normal senses started returning to me and I had these terrible feelings that are difficult to describe. I felt filthy and violated, there was deep fear in me. What would my husband say? Had I contracted AIDS? It was a horror that did not leave me and will probably never leave me completely.

Even today I can't bring myself to talk about it. This experience of writing it down is the first time I have really described it in any detail.

I have never gone for an AIDS test to date, although we were all treated at the district hospital and given medication. I am no longer with my husband as result of this incident although he supports our children. I have no idea how the guns were never discovered in the search carried out prior to the beginning of our journey.

Blogger/Editor's note:
(Gang rape and forced sex during matatu car jackings and even during robberies in homes is still a menace in Kenya today, although it has dramatically reduced from the high statistics of 2000 to 2002. What makes it worse is that most cases go unreported or are reported days after in scanty detail.

In the same year when this particular incident happened, a matatu carrying mainly female nurses going off duty was hijacked somewhere on Ngong Road and the passengers, including the nurses raped and forced to have sex with other passengers. The vehicle was later abandoned somewhere in Kawangware where people going to work the next morning came across it with condoms scattered all over the floor of the Nissan minibus.

This is a sick, bizarre and inhuman crime whose origin or motivations are unclear. People point to the increased use of drugs and exposures to Internet sex (some of which have violent tendencies) as possible causes.)

Send in your True Kenyan story today. Email to umissedthis@yahoo.com
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Nancy Burpee is a world class paralympic swimmer, who has set world records in the 50 and 100 yards freestyle but was disqualified and thus effectively locked out from the 2004 Paralympic Games held in Athens, Greece on a procedural technicality. Law firm simmons jannace & stagg represented her in an effort to have the disqualification overturned and argued that the Australian referee showed bias against Ms. Burpee by making various comments indicating that the Australian referee did not want Ms. Burpee competing against an Australian paralympic swimmer at the games.

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