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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who Exactly Should Kibaki Consult In Appointing ECK Commissioners?

Assuming that President Kibaki were to consult the opposition in appointing new ECK commissioners, who would he consult? Would the old Narc (the party with majority seats in the 9th parliament) be able to reconstitute itself (in the 2002 form) to propose some names (because currently the old members are spread right across the new emerging political spectrum with some in ODM, others in ODM-K and still others in small parties like Kamlesh Pattni’s KENDA.) And considering that Kanu is now firmly under PNU, how fair would the process be giving so much clout to the oldest party in Kenya?

There is no denying the fact that it would all end up being really tricky.

Still this is not enough of an excuse for the president to behave the way he’s behaving currently. I am really surprised why none of the president’s advisors realizes that this display of arrogance is bound to lose him votes big time. Or maybe some are but are just being totally ignored.

In fact to many Kenyans today, 56 days to the polls a very bad smell is clearly beginning to hit the air from the heart of the ECK. There are just too many things going on that have “rigging” written all over them to ignore.

Let’s forget the attempt to adjust constituency borders at this eleventh hour in some parts of the country which even the embarrassed-looking ECK officials cannot explain. The strong suspicion here is that somebody is issuing “orders from above.” But let us look at the recent re-appointments. The president retained Kihara Muttu (who has been his personal lawyer for years and is one of the oldest serving commissioners). In fact already it is widely believed that Muttu will take over the ECK chair after Samuel Kivuitu’s term self-destructs on December 2nd. That will be barely weeks to the polls.

Why is it so difficult for the president’s team to make the little effort to be seen to be fair? What plan will this small gesture mess up? These are some of the nagging questions bothering Kenyans everywhere.

Here is something else to think about. The way the structure is currently in Kenya, the ECK chair should not be that important to a popular winning candidate. However to a losing candidate who happens to be the incumbent and appointing authority, they could be critical. Especially if there is a plot to rig the election. This is the nagging thought pattern that refuses to leave the minds of many political analysts in the country.

Why Tom Mboya Would Have Supported Devolution

For those who know anything about the original Majimbo debate of the 1960s in the run up to independence, this headline would strike them immediately as being a rather curious one.

This is because Tom Mboya was a strong advocate against Majimboism as spelt out in the Lancaster House independence constitution and did everything in his power to frustrate it.

Still I urge you to stay with me and I will prove to you why Tom would have strongly supported devolution as per the Bomas draft was he alive today.

For starters had he survived the assassination attempt he would have known that the very reason why his life was on the line was because centralizing all the power in one powerful executive office had produced some very predictable results. Thos with the power had abused it and wanted to retain the status quo. Tom dies because he stood in the way.

One of the things that devolution (Kusambaza kwa mamlaka) as per the bomas draft, will do is to dramatically reduce some of the powers of the presidency (a point most debators on both sides are yet to realize). This dramatically reduces the chances of a kitchen cabinet milling around the centre of power and even if they still do, the impact of such an inner cabinet will be greatly dimished. This is because resources will already be in the districts and ther will be no need for people to attempt to get close to the president to get their share, like he was doing them a favor.

If you read the words in the national anthem (which Tom played a very key role in creating) you will understand what he stood for. Basically justice for all the people of Kenya and equality for all. In fact shortly before he died, he had already confessed in his writings that too much concentration of power in one office was proving to be harmful to the young Nation of Kenya.

It is also important that we state here clearly that the Majimbo Tom fought against in the Independence constitution was very different from the devolved system proposed in the Bomas draft. The latter emphasizes national unity based on the strength of diversity in the nation. Then you also need to consider the politics of the time. KADU, the party which had successfully fronted for Majimboism was financed and supported mostly by the local white settler community whose motives were obvious. They felt that it would be easier to bribe and control small regional “governments” because many of them did not want to leave and were frightened of the Kanu government which was viewed as radical.

The other clear historical facts that many are falsifying is the claim that even that Majimbo failed. IT did NOT. It was frustrated and finances were cut off from the regions as part of this Kanu scheme.

The 5 Most popular stories in Kumekucha today

The 5 Most popular stories in Kumekucha today

1. Kalonzo's imminent defection to PNU

2. Is the Catholic church In Kenya Divided along tribal lines?

3. Why Raila Odinga Will Lose Langata

4. Don't heal lightly wound of my people

5. Long suffering Kenyan beauty speaks out about "useless lovers"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

“Leakages” Rampant In This Year’s KCSE Exams

The KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education) exams started last week on Monday and have therefore entered their second week as from yesterday.

I have just received information that several schools in a certain region of the country had in their possession one of the Mathematics examination papers that was done recently. One school even “revised” the paper in detail very early in the morning on the very day that students were to sit for the exam. They revised the paper with their Maths teacher!! Can you imagine that? And sure enough, to nobody’s surprise the exact paper they were revising is what came as the exam.

This has led me to make a few more enquiries and I have discovered that these “leakages” are now very “normal” in the country with many students purchasing papers for about Kshs 3,000. In fact many schools last year were not ranked because of massive leakages, however the results of individual students in those school were allowed to stand.

Even spirited efforts by the Kenya national Examination Council this year to clamp down on cheating do not seem to have yielded much because the “cancer” has spread too far and wide to be stemmed easily.

I find this very difficult to absorb because when I went to school, things were not like this and in fact we used to frown on examination cheats. Now it seems that the practice of cheating has become as acceptable as corruption has become in the country.

It is really sad because the culture of corruption seems to have spread into every corner and facet of life in Kenya. Young Kenyans are now clearly using corruption to pass exams.

But the corruption game begins much earlier because many parents use corruption to get their children into good schools and then provide the cash for corruption to pass exams by purchasing exam papers and we have even seen cases recently of corruption to get into the University of Nairobi. This is especially rampant in the parallel program where certificates and all sorts of documents are forged.

It is really scary to realize just how downright rotten the Kenyan society is currently.

P.S. As I was posting this story reports came in of complaints over the widespread "leakage" of the Chemistry paper.

The 5 Most Popular Stories on Kumekucha Today

The 5 Most Popular Stories on Kumekucha Today.

1. Why Raila Odinga Will Lose Langata Parliamentary Seat

2. Should Raila Odinga abandon his plan to venture into enemy territory?

3. Long Suffering Kenyan beauty Complains about "useless man."

4. Why is John Njue and the Catholic Church so hypocritical?

5. Pros and cons of Devolution in Kenya

Preparations For 2012

Let me admit my friends that I was really put off balance when it became clear that because he fears for his life, it was not possible for my preferred Presidential candidate John Githongo to show up for these general elections. I sincerely believed that he was the best chance for change in Kenya, and even if he had ended up not winning the presidential race, he would have helped the entry of a new generation of politicians into the political scene in Kenya.

Alas that cannot be now, and so I have been forced back to the drawing boards and the game plan is finally becoming clearer to me.

Kumekucha will now support principled individuals who represent true change, irrespective of which political parties they belong to. The idea will be to get as many new progressive faces into the 10th parliament as possible and also as many women candidates as possible because they seem to be more mindful of the downtrodden voiceless people of Kenya and less likely to forget the reasons why they are in parliament.

It is also the position of Kumekucha to support any presidential candidate who pledges to introduce a devolved system of governance as spelled out in Chapter 14 of the Boams draft because this represents the best opportunity for true change in the country. Using the devolved system and as many progressive parliamentarians in the house as possible, it will be much easier for Kenyans to usher in a true change in leadership in 2012.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is our only chance of pushing for real change because we cannot trust any politician on their own to bring about the changes that Kenyans crave and we therefore have to continue pushing for change each and every inch of the way and especially after the elections irrespective of which presidential candidate ends up winning.

Is The Catholic Church In Kenya Divided Along Tribal Lines?

Clear evidence is now emerging that there are senior bishops within the Catholic church who do not agree with Cardinal John Njue on the issue of a devolved government usambazaji wa mamlaka and that the statement he read may not in fact be the view of the Catholic church in Kenya after all.

Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth of Kisumu said on Sunday that as far as he is concerned the views stated by Njue are personal views. And he even gave a very good reason for his position. He said that there was no pastoral letter (the usual instrument used to state the church’s official position on any important matter.)

In fact the cardinal has put “jimbos” of the Catholic Church into some serious problems with his careless remarks and many of his colleagues are hard pressed on what to tell faithfuls, especially in regions that strongly support Majimbosim.

Cardinal-designate John Njue’s position calls for lots of wisdom and many times it is not wise to declare a personal stand on sensitive national issues when you know very well that they will affect some of your members and divide the faithfuls. Yet Njue went ahead and did just that, for reasons better known to him.

One wonders whether the cardinal has any advisors and if he does whether he gave them a hearing. This is because what may appear to be a minor issue could have a far-reaching impact. To start with it may now appear in certain circles that the Catholic Church in Kenya is split along tribal lines with Kikuyu leaders within the church rabidly against devolution while most non-Kikuyus appear to be strongly for it. If this is true, it could spell disaster for Kenyans who often look up to some of these churches for direction in issues that are not clear cut like this one.

I Was Wrong And Phil Was Right About Majimbo

Those who know me well know that I usually have no qualms admitting my mistakes as and when I make them. In this regard I was wrong about Majimbo and devolution in the Kenyan context as per the draft Bomas constitution being the same thing. They ARE NOT.

You were right PHIL. And I was wrong.

I have been convinced about this by an authority on the matter, Law scholar Dr Patrick Lumumba or PLO as he is known to many, who was amongst the architects of the Bomas draft and an aspirant for the Kamukunji parliamentary seat.

Lumumba says that there is a huge distinction between the Majimbo (federalism) system of government in the Kenyan context. This is because in Kenya it means balkanization of the country into ethnic and tribal enclaves.

However true devolution and with the variants applied to the draft Kenyan constitution it means a trickle down of political and economic power to the grassroots. The right Kiswahili translation for devolution here is usambazaji or ugatuzi wa mamlaka

Phil who also supports devolution in Kenya or Usambazaji wa mamlaka was of course spot on all along.

I apologize to all you Kumekucha readers out there for misleading you on this very important national issue. Kindly accept my apologies.

DON'T HEAL LIGHTLY THE WOUND OF MY PEOPLE

Address to Kenyan professionals.
By NJONJO MUE


Garden Court Southern Sun Hotel, Milpark, Johannesburg, South Africa
Thursday, 25th October 2007


Ladies and gentlemen; fellow countrymen and women, good evening.

It is always such a delight for me to be back among friends in Johannesburg and I am immensely grateful to be able to share this evening with you.

As some of you know, this is a homecoming of sorts for me. I lived here for almost five years between 1997 and 2001, when I worked as Head of the Africa Office of the freedom of expression watchdog, ARTICLE 19. It was during the same time that many of you relocated to Johannesburg from an increasingly troubled motherland.



The period of my sojourn in South Africa was a time of great transition. I arrived here during the third year of the Mandela presidency and left two years after Thabo Mbeki stepped into his big shoes. As we were busy setting up our modest office on 87 Juta Street in Braamfontein and as I was settling into my little flat in Montgomery Park, the ANC was just getting its feet wet on the driving seat of government, after decades of being an outlawed movement trying to overthrow a racist regime in a blatantly unequal contest.

Desmond Tutu and his truth commissioners were helping the country to come to terms with its horrid past, and black people were beginning to enjoy their place under the sun after four hundred years of colonial domination and apartheid rule.

Back home in Kenya, 1997 was also a year of transition. The Kanu government was still standing menacingly in the way of a new people's constitution and intimidating anyone who thought they might have a new idea on how their motherland should be governed. I remember participating in public rallies, declared illegal, in Kamukunji in early March and at Uhuru Park on the eve of Madaraka Day, alongside thousands of other young Kenyans demanding change under the slogan, "No Reforms, No Elections!" We were beaten and tear-gassed, vilified and jailed, but we would not relent in our chorus of disapproval against the cabal of kleptocratic lootocrats who went by the name of the government of the day.

It was the year of saba saba, nane nane, tisa tisa, kumi kumi. These were all demonstrations held with ever increasing public support in Nairobi and elsewhere in the country, demanding fundamental changes in the governance of our country. They were all violently broken up by Moi's security forces.

Then, just when change appeared imminent, the politicians, who were our
erstwhile comrades in arms, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by
abandoning us when Moi dangled the carrot of IPPG before them. They did not even bother to entrench in law the few concessions they claimed to have won before running off to look for votes when the election was called. Ten years later, we are still staring at the fog of the promise of a new constitution, no nearer to our goal than when we first began.

Many of us in the civil society felt betrayed by the IPPG deal cobbled up by politicians to enable them to share our chicken before it was cooked, but this is not the place to recount the long tale of lost opportunities on the road to a new constitutional dispensation in Kenya. The reason I bring up these momentous events of 1997 in both Kenya and South Africa is that they mirror our present struggles in two important respects.

First, as we all know, it is election season once again in Kenya and
politicians are out on the beat promising us all a piece of the moon. It is time for the country to make important decisions that will determine the direction Kenya takes for the next five years and beyond.



Second, the South African transition from apartheid, especially the
truth-telling process aimed at helping uncover and heal the wounds inflicted on the majority by the minority, still offers an object lesson for Kenya at this time. For no matter who wins the election, there is much unfinished business on our psycho-social landscape that will not go away until we have the courage to face up to our sometimes painful history. It is this aspect of our own transition that I would like us to take the next few moments to reflect on tonight.

Over the last 44 years of our independence, successive governments have
studiously refused to undertake and lead a process of dealing with painful periods of our past and to bring perpetrators of gross injustices to account. Year after year, we have continued to celebrate our achievements while failing to acknowledge the very real pain and suffering unjustly visited upon our sisters and brothers by people who hitherto lived side by side with them as neighbours.

Survivors of ethnic cleansing, like children of a lesser god, continue to roam landless in our towns and countryside scavenging for food; women who have no platform to speak of the sexual violence they endured during the clashes in Molo, Burnt Forest and elsewhere, bear their pain silently, with only bitter tears shed quietly to avoid spoiling the party, as they are casually invited by the government spokesperson to juvunia kuwa waKenya; families of assassinated politicians still wait for official acknowledgment that government agents actively took part in the demise of their loved ones and the subsequent elaborate cover-up.

We have also decided that bringing to justice the perpetrators of gross
economic sabotage through the massive looting of the public purse and the misappropriation of public land by a well connected few is a luxury that Kenya cannot afford.

It is natural to feel anxious about the effect that addressing the past
might have on our national fabric, especially since lawlessness, looting and pillaging of public resources for private gain was at some point regarded as unofficial government policy. It is also the case that it is virtually impossible to find anyone among our political elite who is untainted by the corruption of the past. And so we continue to pretend that the past did not happen.

But the poet Maya Angelou has some comforting words for societies such as ours that hesitate to come to terms with their past. In her moving poem during the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993, she reminded us that "history, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again."

And this is precisely what we need to do in Kenya as we contemplate the next five years. We must face our history with courage. The current government attempted to go down that road early in its life when it appointed a task force on the establishment of a truth, justice and reconciliation commission. But it seems to have developed cold feet despite the findings of the task force that the Kenyan people were overwhelmingly in favour of some form of accounting for the past.

And yet, whether the next government - whoever heads it - offers the needed leadership on this issue or continues to bid us bury our heads in the sand, this is an issue that just won't go away. A casual look around the world, from South Africa to Liberia to Chile to Argentina, shows that people are refusing to allow history to be silenced. Succeeding generations refuse impunity and demand moral accountability for past criminal acts and a modicum of justice to ensure it. Kenya will be no different, and the longer we leave our issues unresolved, the more complicated they are likely to become. We should not forget that the perennial troubles in the Balkans can be directly traced to the battle of Kosovo fought in 1389!

Perhaps the reluctance by the establishment to ask people to account for the past, results from ignorance of why the process is necessary and what it would entail. This ignorance breeds fear and paralysis. I remember a story that appeared in the Daily Nation of 27 June 2003, reporting on submissions to the task force on the Truth Commission. It screamed, "DON'T OPEN UP OLD WOUNDS, TRUTH TEAM TOLD." There were also mixed interpretations of what accounting for the past really meant. While one body of opinion wanted to legislate a national amnesia of forgive and forget, another wanted criminals identified, prosecuted and duly punished.

But it is still important even in the midst of this confusion to find a way forward. We must open up old wounds if they did not heal properly in the first place, in order to air them and let the puss out. For as philosopher George Santayana cautions us, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Our country is badly in need of reconciliation. But there can be no reconciliation without forgiveness and there can be no forgiveness without truth.

But many have asked, what is truth in this context? Simply put, truth
entails giving a right and a forum for those who have endured suffering in silence to tell their stories and an opportunity to know and understand what exactly transpired in the old dispensation - what led to their suffering, in what context it occurred, and who was involved. As one survivor told the Truth Commission here in South Africa, "We do want to forgive, but we don't know whom to forgive."

Truth in the context of reconciliation expresses itself in acknowledgment of injustice committed during violent conflict or oppression. It includes full disclosure of misdeeds; publication of accounts of formerly hidden injustices and violence; and storytelling by victims in the context of therapy.

Truth telling is also important in order to establish an accurate record of a country's past, and lift the lid of silence on particular periods or incidents that we are ashamed to face up to. In seeking the truth, victims and survivors are not driven by mere curiosity. The massacre of helpless villagers on the runway of a remote airstrip in the North-East; the torture endured at Nyayo House; the flight by night to makeshift refugee camps in the Rift Valley; the loss of a loving father to hired assassins outside a pharmacy, in Ngong or on a lonely hill in Koru. These are all now an indelible part of the identity of the survivors, and denying that these atrocities happened is denying an integral part of who these people are.

Miroslav Volf puts it poignantly in his book, Exclusion and Embrace:

By wanting to know "what happened" they are wanting to insure that the
insult of occultation is not added to the injury of oppression; they are seeking to restore and guard human dignity, protect the weak from the ruthless. The truth about what happened is here often a matter of life and death.


Tutu brings it closer home. In his book, No Future Without Forgiveness, he explains why forgetting the past is wholly unacceptable:

Accepting [national amnesia] would have victimized the victims of apartheid a second time round. It would have meant denying their experience, a vital part of their identity.. Our nation sought to rehabilitate and affirm the dignity and humanity of those who were cruelly silenced for so long, turned into anonymous, marginalized victims. Now through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission they would be empowered to tell their stories, allowed to remember and in this public recounting, their individuality and inalienable humanity would be acknowledged.

In some cases, victims already substantially know what happened but they still need an official acknowledgment from the perpetrators and the state, where it was involved. As Juan Mendez points out in an article in the New York Law School Journal of Human Rights, "Knowledge that is officially sanctioned, and thereby made 'part of the public cognitive scene' acquires a mysterious quality that is not there when it is merely 'truth'. Official acknowledgment at least begins to heal the wounds."

I remember having tea recently with the daughter of a popular politician whose murder has never quite been resolved. She confessed that as a child, she grew up believing that her father must have been a very bad man since, in her innocent imagination, only bad people got killed. To such a person, official acknowledgment would go a long way to providing healing.

Truth is also important in ensuring the reform of structures that
facilitated the abuses. The truth must be placed on the public record to enable society to take a long hard look at itself and ensure that the violations of the past do not recur. This is the only way that the truth will lead to transformation of society.

As Janet Cherry reminds us in a chapter in Looking Back, Reaching Forward, "Personal and individual histories of suffering or evil-doing are usually intrinsically related to systemic conditions. Provision should therefore be made for a comprehensive socio-ethical approach when dealing with the past."

We in Kenya must ask ourselves, what sort of value system would lead us to construct a building whose name means 'Peace, Love and Unity' with a
basement designed for the worst forms of torture known to humanity?

"Forgive and forget," is the famous mantra of the morally lazy. We must
forgive and remember because the process of reconciliation depends a great deal on how we remember the past. We have just come out of celebrating Kenyatta Day and there would be no point in doing so if we bought into the conventional wisdom of sweeping our past under the rug; after all, the events of 20th October 1952 are not in themselves a cause for celebration.

As John De Gruchy points out in Reconciliation, "Memories can return with a vengeance unless they are redeemed and become a way of transforming the future."

But we should not go excavating the past for the purpose of inflicting
revenge upon our fellow citizens. There is a healing way that can bring hope for the future along with our sorrow for the past. We must collectively find this way.

This more excellent way involves forgiveness. This is at the core of the reconciliation process. Many commentators are agreed that this is the most difficult part of the process. Revenge is the most natural reaction of a human being when unjustly treated.

The trouble with revenge, however, is that it enslaves both the victim and the perpetrator in a vicious cycle. What to one is a justified act of vengeance is to the other an unwarranted injustice that calls for
counter-revenge. This dynamic has led to some societies being caught in a spiral of violence for generations.

Forgiveness breaks the power of the remembered past and transcends the
claims of the affirmed justice and so makes the spiral of revenge grind to a halt. But it must not be cheap forgiveness that does not acknowledge the hurt visited upon the victims. True reconciliation, according to Tutu, "exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the degradation, the truth.. Spurious reconciliation can bring only spurious healing."

And so we arrive at this threshold in our history with three choices to make regarding the injustices of the past: impunity; trials and punishment; or reconciliation.

We have already seen that impunity threatens the social fabric because it undermines justice which is the essence of organized society. Impunity prevents the full rehabilitation of victims, reconciliation and the building of genuine democracy. Impunity is the option normally favoured by members of an outgoing autocratic regime who would rather that their record while in power remained beyond scrutiny.

In Latin American countries such as Chile and Argentina, outgoing military dictators in the late 1980s passed laws granting themselves and their supporters blanket amnesty from prosecution for human rights abuses as a condition for agreeing to hand over power to democratically elected governments. But as Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet found out in his last days, and as his family continues to find out today, you cannot silence history. Our leaders and their families would be wise to heed this lesson.

Trials and punishment of past criminals are also not a practical option. In the first place, in most cases there would not be sufficient evidence to convict those suspected of human rights violations. Some of the violations happened in the 1960s and most witnesses would be dead by now. Even after the Second World War with the evidence of Nazi atrocities still relatively fresh, less than 6,500 of the 90,000 cases brought to court resulted in convictions.

Secondly, even if sufficient evidence could be found and considering the pervasive culture of corruption that gripped our country during the time in question, bringing to trial all the culprits would overwhelm the judiciary.

Many of the key perpetrators have enough money to keep their cases tied up in the courts for years. Also, criminal trials are not the best placed for seeking a comprehensive truth about the past. Many facts are kept out of court by strict rules of evidence.

It is important to avoid the two extremes of impunity and punishment, and find a 'third way' that deals with the past in a manner that will promote a new political culture and a shared vision for the future. That 'third way' should balance the requirements of truth, forgiveness, accountability and the restoration of justice leading to national healing and reconciliation.

Reconciliation can take many different forms. As a Christian, I naturally turn to the Bible for guidance. The biblical concept of Shalom (wholeness) is the image that comes closest to expressing the complex and multifaceted reality of reconciliation. There has to be wholeness resting on a balance between Truth and Mercy, Justice and Peace. In the language of Psalm 85, this is where 'truth and mercy have met together, justice and peace have kissed.'

Wherever the social fabric has been ruptured by conflict, dictatorship or autocratic rule as happened in Kenya over the last four decades, most people agree on the need for reconciliation between victims and perpetrators of human rights violations, but they have different understandings of what reconciliation entails.

For some, it involves contrition, confession and forgiveness (i.e. mercy); others call for 'peace in the land' through the improvement of people's social and economic conditions (i.e. peace); yet others call for justice through the prosecution of perpetrators and the establishment of a culture of democracy and human rights (i.e. justice); lastly there are those who say that there can be no reconciliation without public acknowledgment of crimes through a truth- telling process (i.e. truth).

Reconciliation in action, in my view, is inclusive of all aspects of Shalom: justice, peace, truth and mercy. A successful reconciliation process should integrate all these key elements.

In August 2000 while I was based here in South Africa, some friends and I proposed just such a model with regard to Kenya's public wealth stolen and siphoned abroad by corrupt leaders and their unscrupulous friends. We launched the BOMB -'Bring Our Money Back' - initiative whose key proposals were to set a time frame within which anyone who had money illegally banked or invested abroad was to publicly declare and account for it. If they did so and told the whole truth as to how they acquired it to enable the sealing of loopholes, they would be granted amnesty from prosecution and even allowed to keep 15% of the money, provided they invested it at home and returned the rest to the public purse.

We drafted a Bill to create a framework for tracing and repatriating such moneys, which unfortunately did not see the light of day, as the new government subsequently chose to engage Messrs Kroll & Co to prepare a glossy report to tell us what we already knew without giving us a clue as to how we would ever get our money back.

In conclusion and contrary to what our political elite would have us believe, the crimes committed against the people of Kenya in the past cannot be simply forgotten. To carry on with business as usual while ignoring the walking wounded in our midst would be, in the words of the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah, to "heal the wound of My people lightly, saying 'peace peace' when there is no peace."

We have to build a culture of respect for human rights and democracy in our country. There has to be a genuine commitment to break with the past, to heal the wounds, to forgive but remember in redemptive ways in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. This way, we can build a shared vision of the future; a vision of a great nation at peace with itself, for the sake of ourselves, our children and our children's children.

God bless you and God bless Kenya.

I thank you.

Njonjo Mue
Legal Counsel / Principal Human Rights Officer
Campaigns & Advocacy Programme
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
1st Floor, CVS Plaza, Lenana Road
P.O. Box 74359-00200 Nairobi
TEL: 254-20-2717908 / 2717928 / 2712624
FAX: 254-20-2716160
njonjo@knchr.org
www.knchr.org

Biwott (Kenya Betrayed)

Chapter 27

It was finally 9:00 p.m., the time Nicholas Biwott had been waiting for. He went to the bathroom, away from his nosy Jewish wife, and flipped his cell phone. He dialed.

"Hello?" Bozo said.

"Bozo, it's Biwott."

"What do you want?"

"I need to know that everything is okay."

Bozo was in his maskan when this call came through. This squalid, right in the center of Korogocho, was the very definition of squalor. It was leaking .... it had roaches ..... and it smelt like last year's urine.

He had a bed in the same room as the living room. Right in the middle of the room, he used an off-white bed sheet to partition it. That partioning created an extra room. It was the kitchen.

"You want to know if things are okay?" he asked.

"Yes. Do you have everything you need?"

"I do."

"So how will you do it?"

Bozo walked out. He stood in front of the squalid where fresh sewage was flowing in from somewhere, "You want me to update you over the phone?"

"I am secure."

"All right. I have everything. I managed to track down Bad Boy and Osiris."

"Where have they been?"

"That's not important," Bozo said, "The important thing is - they have agreed to help."

"So you will share the loot with them?"

"That's none of your business."

"Why so testy tonight?"

Bozo laughed, "You think I am testy?"

"Listen. I don't care about your mood. Just make sure you do your job. I can't afford to have that woman alive anymore."

"I got you."

"Don't blow this!"


***


Chairman Sungu got home at about 10:30 p.m. He seemed exhausted. Standing at the door, he took a minute to study his wife's mood, " Is everything okay today?" he asked.

His wife nodded, "No strange letters, if that's what you mean."

He walked to the refrigerator, fished out a bottle of Tusker Premium, then sat at the dining table with it. "You can¡t believe what happened today."

"I have watched the news."

"You saw Mrs. Ouko."

She nodded, "Amazing!"

"I can't believe she has kept herself up like that."

..... kept herself up? ..... She looked at her husband, "Men are strange. You looked at Christabel Ouko and all you saw was a woman who has kept herself up? - Did you not see a grieving widow? - Did you not see a dazed mother? - Did you not see a woman who still fears that her husband's killers may come also after her?"

Sunguh's brows furrowed, "You saw all that on TV?"

"Women are perceptive," she said. "I'll bet you, your women Committee members saw the same thing I saw: Christabel is a very unhappy and sad woman."

"I don't doubt you. But I was not meaning Mrs. Ouko. I am talking about Marianne."

She poured the beer into his glass, "You talked to her?"

"She called me this morning."

"What for?"

"She wants to know if she can meet Moi."

His wife frowned, "Will you let her?"

"The Committee voted that she could."

"Bad move," she warned, "I cannot believe you would allow that to happen ..... what if Biwott takes advantage of the meeting and harms her? Did you think of that?"

He turned pale, "What?"

"It seems that all of you continue to underestimate Nicholas Biwott. That's a big mistake. Don't create a situation that a pervert like him can take advantage of. If I were you, I would consider revoking that authorization."

"But the Committee voted already."

She rubbed his back, "Terrible mistake."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Should Raila Odinga Abandon His Plan To Venture Into Enemy Turf?

It is quite clear that those mapping out strategy for ODM presidential aspirant Raila Odinga must include a very serious think tank who know exactly what they are doing.

Quite a number of very interesting moves made by Raila recently clearly show this. Before I go into them let me make a very important point here. Many people leaving comments here have been eager to claim that this blog has degenerated into an ODM campaign tool. Naturally these persons have the right to express their views no matter how false and misplaced they may be. And irrespective of the fact that the possibilities are high that such comments are made with a clear agenda against this popular site in mind. However I would like to point out that I have made every effort to keep this blog as balanced as possible. I have done this by including in my team of commentators who can make comments without my approval, people of divergent views. Proud Kikuyu Woman (is a self-confessed strong PNU supporter) while Vikii is a die hard ODM-Kenya man. Taabu is “horseless”, meaning that he is not backing any presidential candidate. Phil is of course ODM damu but is a skilled debater who often disagrees even with other ODM supporters on certain details and issues. Luke aka “admiring economic growth” also says he is “horseless.”

The other thing I have done is to favor PNU commentators who leave comments here and allow the kind of comments I would not allow from ODM supporters. I do this deliberately to create a balance of sorts because the PNU side is a little short on ideas and debating skills as has been evidenced by the quality of debate from their side both in this blog and nationally, right up to the very top. I am NOT being biased just do an audit in this blog of the abusive comments and language and you will clearly realize that virtually all of them are from one side.

Having said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this blog siding with a candidate of its’ choice. Newspapers and media houses in the most developed democracy in the world , The United States, usually back presidential candidates after carefully scrutinizing their policies. The only thing I want to emphasize is that if and when we make such a move we will announce it publicly. I take this opportunity to urge al others participating here to always state their agenda and position clearly when making comments.

Like the time recently when I declared this blog a campaigner for the proposed majimbo system of governance and even declared Kumekucha a Jimbo.

Now back to my main point for today.

The move by the Raila camp to introduce the majimbo debate early in the home stretch of this campaign was no accident. It is obviously the most controversial issue and with Raila and ODM’s clear lead in most polls, this was obviously the best time to do this.

An interesting aside to note here is the fact that the initiative in this campaign has been with ODM right from the beginning. Before they introduced this debate which has been a major face saver for PNU troops, the latter side was shouting itself hoarse with abusive language and personal attacks on Raila that were beginning to sound cumbersome even to their most ardent supporters. Now they have quickly grasped on the majimbo issue the way a sinking man would clutch on straws and suddenly they have something to say that is a little more palatable than what they were saying earlier.

The really sad thing here is that the PNU side boasts of some of the most astute and experienced political thinkers in the land some of whom are capable of halting the ODM groovy train very suddenly in its’ tracks with just a move or two. But alas, their voices are not being heard and in most cases they have been pushed to the periphery mostly by a president who is very sure of himself and feels that he does not need their input. Instead President Kibaki feels that he can run the whole show mostly on his own and with a little help from his golf buddies, Makerere alumni and even relatives like his own daughter (a very smart lady no doubt, but politics is a very different ball game where fools sometimes thrive). The fact that the president is relying more and more on close relations and friends to run his campaign has clearly been signaled by the recent development where First Lady L:ucy Kibaki is now running her own campaign schedule. She is currently in Mombasa drumming up support from the Bui bui crowd. In my view Lucy is a lose canon who can easily lose the president tens of thousands of votes with a single remark. Like the one she made recently that she wished she had money to hire helicopters to fly countrywide to show Kenyans the good work that her husband has done. Many Kenyans on the ground that I interviewed over this remark got upset and understandably so. You need to take a brief tour into rural Kenya in almost every corner of the republic to see for yourself how standards of living have deteriorated and how desperation has risen rapidly in the last 5 years, despite the wonderful so-called economic growth the country has experienced under Kibaki. The desperation is really sad to behold, really sad and the reason why anybody opposing the current regime was bound to have gotten such widespread grassroots support as ODM and their previously “unelectable” candidate now enjoy. Many of these folks with no understanding of economics tell me that they now want a president to promise them negative economic growth because they have noticed that they have more money in their pockets whenever the growth is negative but are in danger of starving to death when growth is positively high.

Anyway, let me leave it to history to be the final judge over this issue and to answer the question as to whether the president really needed the advice he is now shunning or not.

My apologies for that lengthy digress but it was necessary.

One of the clear moves the Raila campaign team is now making is to aggressively venture into the heart of the PNU support base. This is mainly central Kenya and the Mount Kenya region as a whole. While the party has growing pockets of support in these regions, these are solid PNU strongholds.

The question that is now emerging is how wise this strategy is. Not in terms of its’ effectiveness in securing more votes and weakening the presidents support base, but in its’ viability in ensuring a peaceful general election which is more important to Kenyans than which side ends up wining. After all we are basically voting for the same people who have been around for decades and are only now promising us heaven on earth under great pressure mostly from voters who are very disappointed with the performance of the 9th parliament.

The red flags over poll violence resulting from this latest Raila strategy have to go up because already it has been reported that one life has been lost in the ODM campaign violence in Meru yesterday. All signs point to this just being the beginning of a nightmare of an election.

In a quarter page advertisement placed by a lobby group, the Central Kenya Initiative (CKI) in the Sunday Nation, of 28th October 2007 on page 6, the organization calls for a national healing and reconciliation prayer day today (29th October). In the ad signed by convenor, Tony Gacoka, it is insinuated that young Kenyans from central province are not being allowed to fully participate in campaigning for ODM and Raila Odinga freely and an appeal is made to the government to allow this to happen.

One wonders what will happen when the campaigns being spearheaded by this group really get going in the region.

It may just be a wiser decision for Raila and ODM to campaign in this region through the media and save Kenyan lives.

John Troon's Wife (Kenya Betrayed)

Chapter 26

Tonight, when Supt. Troon came home, he could tell he had questions to answer. Even though he was now retired, and even though he preferred to spend his days with family and friends, his wife knew he was still bothered by the fact that the Ouko murder had not been resolved yet.

She knew that her very professional, extremely dedicated husband would never find peace until Dr. Ouko's murderers were apprehended, tried and justice served.

What troubled her though was that over the last couple of years, the Ouko ghost seemed to have finally gone to rest.

In Nairobi, nobody talked about the case anymore - except one maverick MP from Ugenya.

In London, the powers that be were no longer interested in finding out who killed Dr. Ouko, if anything they had gone back to was putting relations between Kenya and Britain on a firmer bilateral footing.

She knew, her husband did not like that.

Then came this new Committee. And suddenly there was a scramble in Nairobo ti find out who filled the former Minister for Foreign Affairs.
.... is this the chance ? .....

As Supt. Troon took off his coat, he could feel his wife's eyes. They were on him. And as usual, very sympathetic.

....what's the matter, sweetheart ? ....

He did not have to ask that question aloud. Before he could grab his PJ's from the base of the walk-in-closet, his wife said, "I don't mean to spoil the mood, but I have some questions I need to ask."

He turned, "That's okay."

"Come sit here," she said.

He did.

"All right. Today you told me something that has been disturbing me since I heard it," She clasped her hands, "You conducted a throrough investigation in kenya. You got to mingle with the top leaders of that country." She sighed, "Do you believe they could have misled you in any way?"

His demeanour changed. He became more pensive, "Misled?" He shook his head, "I don't think so."

"You didn't find it strange that when you got to Nairobi, the people who met you were all government officials, including Mr. Anguka, whom you later even implicated in the murder? Given those strange circumstances, don't you think, you may have been compromised?"

"Why are you asking so many questions all of the sudden?"

She paused, "Or when you went to Oyugi's home and they fed you that garbage about Dr. Ouko committing suicide ..... didn't that bother you?"

"No ...... I went to Nairobi and did what any professional detective could do. I practically told the Kenyan authorities who killed Dr. Ouko..... what bothers me is that fifteen years later those murderers are still free ..... and are still killing more Kenyans ..... and even worse, continue pretending to be 'honourable' members of Kenya's political life ....... it's enough to make me go crazy!"

She shrugged, "I know, you worked hard .... so don't get me wrong .... but do you think, you could have been more categorical about who ordered the murder?"

Supt. Troon's jaws parted. He looked pale, "I still wonder whether I would have left Kenya alive if I had categorically said who killed him. But look, I as well as did it. I told the Gichery Inquiry that Biwott and Oyugi were the prime suspects. Knowing how Kenya works, there is no way in the world that those two could have killed Dr. Ouko without the Top Man's blessing. It's that simple."

"I know."

"It's him who killed Dr. Ouko."

"I know."

"Do you still think, I should go back to Nairobi to testify and say this?"

She shrugged, "No."

"You are scared?"

She stood up, "The last time you were in Kenya - at the Sunset Hotel - those goons almost killed you. That poison could have knocked you out if not for Dr. Singh's quick action. You were very lucky."

"I know I was. So you don't want me to go?"

"Do you think, it will do any good?"

"Yes."

"What if they try to kill you again?"

"I will be careful."

"You can't be careful enough. Kenya is still Moi's and Biwott's country. They may seem to be out of power, but they still call the shots with all the corrupt money they have collected. They are just as dangerous, sweetheart."

"I agree."

She sat next to him, "I am worried. I would like you going back to Kenya, tell the world in no uncertain terms who killed Dr. Ouko, but I would much rather you did it here." She rubbed his back, "Is there a chance the Committee could meet here in London?"

He looked glum, "I don't know."

"Look, sweetheart," she said, "All I am saying is - I fully support your desire to bring this matter to a close. I have seen how it is eaten into you, denied you happiness in your deserved retirement, but I am hoping you can ask the Kenyan authorities to hold hearings here in London. It doesn't hurt to ask."

"I will ask," he said.

"Do it early tomorrow morning."

"I will. But did I tell you that the business community in this city doesn't want to rock the boat?"

"You did."

"And are not keen on this Committee's work?"

"You said so."

He scooted next to her, "That's what really troubles me."

..... I know it does. You have proved yourself over the years to be one of the best detectives at Scotland Yard. In Kenya, you worked like a tornado, turned everything upside down. I know, Dr. Ouko is proud of you ....

"That's what bothers me," he repeated.


***


After having told her husband how she felt, she draw the fuzzy comforter over her head and in minutes felt asleep.
As for Supt. Troon, it was the beginning of a strategic night.

He went on his back and looked aimlessly at the ceiling..... how can I persuade Chairman Sunguh to come to London? .... He flew back in time to the days he concluded the investigation.


***



Supt. Troon recalled how suspicious he was of the government handlers and most of the witnesses. How coached they seemed to be. How scared they all were to talk.

He remembered how everybody had been afraid of mentioning the names of Nicholas Biwott and President Moi..... could I have missed anything? .....

His wife turned .... searched for him with her arm.

..... Could I have been misled? ....

She put the arm around him.

..... If they misled me, could I have arrived at the conclusions I did? ....

He gently took his wife's arms away, slowly got up and then went to the living room. In there, he looked at the collection of family photos, some beautiful flower arrangement on the table. He sat on the couch and ran his fingers through his hair.

The question on his mind was: Are the Kenyans finally serious about dolling justice to Dr. Ouko's killer/s?

..... Tell the world who killed Dr. Ouko ....

"I definitely will," he said, answering that inner voice. The voice of his sleeping wife, "I have no choice."

And though he knew others were fully capable of picking from where he left off, the Ouko killing was one he was not willing to let go. The brutal nature of it troubled him. Christabel Ouko's anguish bothered him. Even worse, he knew exactly who killed Dr. Ouko. He had recommended arrests which were done - only for the killers to be let go for 'lack of evidence' ...... Shame on you, Your Excellency! ....

He got up and walked around. He wondered what more evidence the Kenyan authorities needed.

..... I would rather you do it in London .....

"I wonder what difference it will make," he growled. "I told the world that Biwott and Oyugi did it. You know what the Kenyans did? They arrested those goons .... kept them in jail for a couple of days ..... then let them walk free. If there is a shame here, it's on the Kenyan side, not mine."

..... Tell the world who killed him ....

"I must!" He inhaled sharply, "It's the only way I will ever enjoy my retirement. Besides, I owe it to Dr. Ouko..."

When Supt. Troon went back to the bedroom, he saw his wife smiling. Was she awake? He quickly realized she was dreaming. He tiptoed to bed, slipped in quietly, then drew the conforter over his head.

But just before he could switch the world out, he heard his wife talking, "You are my hero!"

He froze.

..... Me ? ......

5 Most popular stories in Kumekucha today

5 Most popular stories in Kumekucha today

1. Kumekuchans seek to sponsor candidate

2. Why is John Njue And The Catholic Church So Hypocritical?

3. Why Raila Odinga will lose Langata Parliamentary seat

4. Why married women have affairs.

5. Pros and Cons of the Majimbo system in Kenya

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Kumekuchans Seek To Sponsor Candidates For MP

Okay Luke and company… I have finally thrown in the towel and agreed that we need to focus on 2012 to get the right kind of candidates into parliament.

However I hope that you agree with me that that does not mean resting until the 2012 elections is around the corner. Work must start NOW!

For starters we should all work as hard as possible to get as many progressive candidates into parliament as we possibly can. Irrespective of what political parties they are standing with. We will openly campaign for such candidates. PKW (proud Kikuyu woman) I am with you concerning your preferred candidate for Kieni. Can you please start posting info about them here in Kumekucha or pass it on to me via email so that I can organize it for posting?

I also have a preferred candidate for Cherangany, but first a little background on this constituency. News from the ground indicates that Kipruto arap Kirwa will have great difficulties making it back to parliament like many others who were in the Kibaki cabinet. Interestingly for the first time in his long political career Kirwa was actually booed by a large crowd two days ago. This is very ominous for a candidate who has been very popular in the past.

PNU is generally out of site in this constituency while the ODM front runner for the ticket, Nathaniel Tum has a bad CV as are most of the others who can possibly wrest the ODM mantle for this constituency from him.

The chances of this Kumekucha candidate Jesse Masai winning are very high. He has campaigned hard and long on the ground for a very long time now. Do your own research and you will find that he is being regarded as fresh, visionary, credible and everything else the other candidates are not. In short his chances of winning are very good. In fact the race is currently his to lose according to my impeccable sources on the ground.

Sadly this exercise is very expensive and his name is not in the Kroll report meaning that he does not have inexhaustible source of finances tucked away in some Swiss account like some other characters.

I therefore find him a very worthy candidate to sponsor for this parliamentary seat. I welcome all you regular readers to pitch in. You can send funds directly to his Mobile phone via Mpesa. His telephone number is 0723-941876. For Kenyans in the diasporas you can Paypal your donation to the email address strongwallafrica (at) yahoo.com and I will be happy to pass on the funds to our candidate Jesse Masai through our representatives in Kenya. To enforce transparency those who Paypal funds, I will pass on your details to the candidate who will email you a personal thank you confirming the amount he receives.

Now is the time to prove that your money is where your mouth is guys.

Kindly let me know of any other worthy candidates out there that we can support in terms of finances and publicity.

Our preparations for 2012 are now in full swing guys.

See previous article in our archives on Jesse Masai

Or visit his website now to get to know him better.

The 5 Most Popular Stories in Kumekucha Today

The 5 Most Popular Stories in Kumekucha Today

1. Why is John Njue And The Catholic Church in Kenya Being So Hypocritical?

2. Pros and Cons Of Majimbo in Kenya

3. Why Raila Odinga will lose Langata

4. Why married women have affairs

5. Regular violent wife rape by dutiful husband

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Did Kumekucha Know The Election Date All Along?

Many of our readers noticed that after the ECK Election Day announcement yesterday, our election countdown counter in Kumekucha did not need to be changed or altered in any way because we were spot on all along and once again we’ve been proved correct in our deductions and predictions.

Little wonder that an increasing number of Kenyans are looking to Kumekucha before making any important decisions. Or when they want to get information that is not in the daily newspapers.

This post is dedicated to all you wonderful dedicated informers out there who make this possible. I will use the words you always love to hear. My lips are sealed and your identities will forever remain secret. Thank you very much.

Why Is John Njue And The Catholic Church Leadership In Kenya Being So Hypocritical?

Within days of being appointed only the second Kenyan Cardinal ever, John Njue has made a major goof that paints the Kenyan Catholic Church in very poor light.

Twice in public he has expressed his personal feelings about a very sensitive political issue, namely the proposed Majimbo form of government. Firstly on the day he was appointed, a journalist asked him about the issue and without thinking he blurted out his personal views showing clearly that he was against it. Yesterday Njue called a press conference to repeat his personal views but this time told the world that they were the views of the entire Catholic Church in Kenya.

Kenyans are generally a very religious lot but these developments have angered and confused many. Firstly this latest development is behind a backdrop of some very strange behaviour the Catholic church has displayed ever since President Mwai Kibaki took over power in late 2002.

During Moi’s tenure this church was at the forefront of criticizing the government and speaking out on behalf of the down-trodden masses of Kenya. Many have fond memories of the church coming out to talk very strongly against the politically instigated clashes in the Rift Valley at the onset of multi-party democracy in 1991. The church spoke when nobody else would dare speak and many Kenyans were very grateful for that. This is why the relative silence of the Catholic church during President Kibaki’s watch has been deafening to say the least. When the church has made a move it has been to support the Kibaki administration like their clear support of the Banana side during the 2005 referendum. Ironically that constitution the church supported then contained a Majimbo governance system.

As you read this tens of thousands of innocent Kenyans have been displaced in extremely violent land clashes in the Mount Elgon area. The Catholic Church has not said much. In fact addressing these clashes would have been an ideal initial statement for Njue to issue the day he was appointed Cardinal instead of getting entangled in a very hot political issue. Two days ago when Cardinal Njue made this statement he quickly added that the church is not supporting any presidential candidate which was ludicrous after expressing a clear stand on such a major issue that divided the two candidates. It is common knowledge that the president is a Catholic and has been very close to the Catholic church leadership for many years. President Kibaki has in fact got two names given to him by the church that he never uses. They are Emilio Stanley.

It does not help the cardinal’s case with skeptical Kenyans (who have seen years of tribalism in high places being practiced even as the government swears that it is fighting against it) that he hails from the Mount Kenya region.

Then there is the very real danger that the cardinal’s tactics could easily reduce the country into a Muslims versus Christian battle of wits, since it is clearly known that most Muslims strongly support the Majimbo system of governance.

This is the kind of behavior that would be serious enough to provoke a protest note to the Vatican because the entire image of the Catholic Church has been ruined by these goofs by the church and most recently by the newly appointed cardinal.

Majimbo Constitution Will Birth A New Breed Of Kenyan Politicians

Let me declare today that it is my personal view that Majimbo is so important for Kenya that I will no longer be neutral on this particular issue here in this blog. Instead I will be a strong advocate and will do everything in my power to convince Kenyans of the merits of this system.

One of the great weaknesses we have had as a country is that we lack administrative politicians.

Let me explain. MPs and even councilors are basically legislators. Their powers are very limited to impact life directly on the ground. The Constitutional Development Fund has changed that somewhat but not enough.

With the implementation of the Bomas draft and the introduction of a Majimbo system, we will usher in a brand new kind of politician. What I call an administrative politician. For example the person elected to head a district will have to tackle the problems of that particular district together with his elected District government. This will be the perfect breeding ground of future presidents. Not only that. Ideas that have been successfully in a district can later be easily implemented nationally for the greater benefit of the people of Kenya.

It is interesting that the argument that is frequently being used is that the system is expensive. Let me ask a simple question. What is more expensive for the country; untapped potential countrywide or some extra administrative charges to set up the new system?

My prediction is that shortly after the Majimbo system is implemented in Kenya it will be so successful that it will be copied all over Africa and beyond. Before you scornfully dismiss that one just remember how many predictions we have made here that have come to pass.

Dr Ouko Paid With His Life (Kenya Betrayed)

Chapter 25


So, we decided to leave without having come to any agreement with the National Housing Corporation.....

..... but I did not want to give up that easily - I had visited Kibera and had seen under which circumstances these people had to live ...... especially the expression in the eyes of the children still haunted me .................

..... and mainly because I did not want Biwott to succeed once again to have been able to get 'rid of me' ........

..... I decided that I had to beat him with his own weapon ....... so I registered an official Consultancy Company in Switzerland which was giving me real legal base........

..... and this was then also the time when Dr. Ouko contacted me for the Molasses Plant ..........

..... I had realized that the only way to be successful and to be able to help the country and its people - something I had always wanted to do and which for me remained the most important driving factor - was to stay out of Biwott's sphere and away from Moi. I thought, this was the only way to avoid more problems - at least this I hoped ...........

..... you remember that I had also again contacts with Dr. Mungai....... we had renewed our relationship which also included my daughter. I was very happy about that since before she had always preferred Moi to him. Njoroge had started to come to Switzerland regularly and I was also sometimes accompanying him on business trips in Europe. Sandra and Njoroge have still contacts up to to today. They use to meet whenever he passes through Zurich......

..... so also regarding this I had to be careful. Neither did I want to hurt Moi, nor Njoroge's feelings. I had set up the rule for myself not to meet Njoroge whenever I was in Kenya - nor was I accepting invitations where President Moi would be present .......

..... so I thought to have taken all precautions - but I was wrong as I soon had to learn - and Dr. Ouko paid with his life for it............

..... and here starts my guilt or at least, that's how I feel about it ...........

..... regarding your remarks about the money: you are right........ I have spent a lot since I was always proud to be able to pay all my expenses myself. None of these two men - President Moi or Dr. Njoroge Mungai - has ever spent one Shilling on me ....... in spite of what has been published during the last years ......... but since so much rubbish has been said, this does not matter to me ........

..... the only thing which had - and still has - a meaning to me is my goal to help to finally get Dr. Ouko's killers before court and have them in jail for the rest of their lives ...........

.... you see, they wanted to meet me in Switzerland a few years ago to settle 'my bill ' ..... there was a meeting planned between Moi, some of his advisers like Kulei and Raila Odinga, and me. I had given my accounts and it stood at almost 6 Million $. They had already agreed to pay it - but I would have had to sign a document in which I was taking back all my accusations regarding who killed Dr. Ouko and why .......... I would have had to declare the statement I signed at Scotland Yard in London in 1990 false..........

..... in short - in accepting this money from them - they would have made me their accomplice in this crime............

..... you know me. Do you believe, I would have been able to live with such a burden for the rest of my life?

Sue looked at me with tears in her eyes, "I realize only now how much you are till hurt and how much this all means to you. But do you also realize that you still could get killed? That Biwott is your enemy and that he still hates you, no matter how much time has passed since? He will never let you come out of Kenya alive."

"You really think, I could get hurt?"

"Of course, I believe that."

I smiled, " Look - like I told already Sandra and Philipp - I will take excellent care of myself. But I have to go because I have to tell them the whole story - every dirty part of it."


***


When I returned to my apartment and just started to prepare my dinner, my phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID, then answered, "Hello?"

"It's John Troon."

"Obviously."

"Guess what? I have just come from Scotland Yard."

"And?"

"I wanted to see if my former bosses would be comfortable letting me travel to Nairobi."

"What did they say?"

"That I can't."

"So what will you do? I thought, you have already received your Summon."

"Yes, I was summoned almost a month ago - I already told you. Anyway, I have to consider a lot of things before I make up my mi8nd whether I can go or not." He took a deep breath, "You know how much I would love to go. To me, my work is not done until Dr. Ouko's murder is resolved. Until his killers pay for their crime."

"Very admirable."

He took another deep breath, "Quite honestly, I have been wondering how best to handle this sitation. I know, I would like the truth to come out, but I want it to come out in a way that nobody else will loose his life. Not me .... nor others.•

"So what do you propose?"

"I am going to propose to Chairmain Sunguh to seat the Committee here in London. If he accepts, I am ready to recommend Nicholas Biwott's arrest. And for the first time, I am also ready to say that Moi was behind the murder. That he knew everything. Both should be made to talk."

"Supt. Troon, do you really believe the Kenyan authorities can arrest Biwott? Do you really think that they will gather enough courage to face Moi down?"

"They should."

"But will they?"

He sighed, "I dont' know. I don't expect it. I can only hope it. But look - you and me - we have done our part. You have told the Kenyans everything there was to say. As for me, I have revealed everything there was to reveal. If the Kenyan authorities are serious about bringing Dr. Ouko's killers to book, they have plenty to go on."

"But not everything."

"I don't think, there is anything to add," He drew another deep breatch, .... in fact, if Chairman Sunguh agrees to come to London, I will be very categorical. I will insist that Biwott be arrested. And made to talk. I will also recommend that Moi be officially probed."

"Supt. Troon, you are a tough detective. I am honoured to be your friend!"

A lump came up in this fine detective's throat. In his line of work, compliments were far between. Mostly, there was a lot of criticism and public pressure.

Aware that my compliment was heartfelt, he said, "The feeling is mutual, Marianne."

The 5 most popular stories in Kumekucha today

The 5 most popular stories in Kumekucha today

1. Pros and cons of majimbo in Kenya

2. Is Majimbo good for Kenya?

3. Why Raila Odinga will lose Langata

4. Story of woman who loved two men that portrays presidentail elections In Kenya

5. Kumekucha's presidential campaign 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Is Majimbo Good For Kenya?

It is instructive that the World Bank has declared that it is in favor of a Majimbo (devolved government) system for Kenya. But today the Catholic church in Kenya has declared that it is against Majimbo in what I consider one of the most irresponsible things the Catholic church in Kenya has ever done. The reason is that the move is an open provocation on Muslims most of whom are in favor of Majimbo and with the tensions in the country at the moment it is very easy for this issue to degenerate into a duel between Christians and Muslims which is the last thing any Kenyan would wish for.

The PNU (Party of National Unity) which has hardly shown any initiative in this general election has very quickly pounced on the issue of introducing a Majimbo system in Kenya sensing that it is ODM’s soft under belly where they can quickly accumulate votes in their favor and reverse the current situation. Many ODM supporters also fear that the party and its’ presidential candidate will lose votes on this issue.

Yet this is a classic issue pitting the two real tribes in Kenya against each other. Namely the filthy rich and the rest of Kenya. A Majimbo system is definitely not in the interest of the rich tribe because many of them have taken unfair advantage of resources in certain parts of the country to enrich themselves while conveniently hiding behind the skirts of the centralized government. In sharp contrast the system would be godsend for the other tribe—the majority of Kenyans who would be empowered for the first time to really be in control of their destiny.

What many Kenyans have also forgotten is that in the course of their work, Ghai’s commission, which was mandated to give the country a new constitution went all over the country and they then incorporated the views and aspirations of the majority into the Bomas Draft which was a majimbo draft, only that the word that was being used a lot then was “devolution.” Both words mean the same thing. So it is safe to say that the vast majority of Kenyans are in favour of Majimboism.

Still the naked truth is that devolution in Kenya has its’ real dangers. However one can say that those dangers are the same as those that the country faced in going back into a multi-party politics with the current of selfish politicians we have. Indeed the re-introduction of multi-partyism has done a lot to balkanize the country and reverse any gains we may have made against tribalism in the past, such that we no longer have any true national political parties in the country. What we have are alliances of various tribal chiefs. This truth applies to all political parties in the country.

So was it a mistake to re-introduce multi party democracy into Kenya? Of course NOT. And in the same way the possible dangers of Majimbosim are not a valid reason to trash this idea and just like the country will one day soon mature it’s multiparty democracy, Majimboism too will work very well in the end. After all, the wise man said that you cannot climb the ladder of success with cold feet of fear. The problem in Kenya currently is that we have too many old men with old ideas (including the Njues of the Catholic Church) determined to have the country solving the unprecedented problems of today’s world using yesterday’s thinking. Not only is this absurd, but it is a recipe for chaos.

We must get out of this time warp where we insist on the same old ideas that have failed us miserably in the past. The time to try out new solutions and to think out of the box is long overdue and this Majimbo thing is a classic example.

Still let us examine in great detail the pros and cons of a devolved government system in Kenya, without fear or favour. Please see my next post.

Pros And Cons Of Majimbo in Kenya

Disadvantages;

Majimbo may cause tensions between tribes
PNU are right when they suggest that devolution may cause tensions in certain parts of the country. The community that will be worst hit will be the Kikuyu who have invested heavily in almost every corner of the country which is a good thing. In some areas there has been resentment towards them and the re-introduction of Majimboism may affect a few of them. However it is NOT true that the problem will be rampant all over the country. And besides the constitution clearly protects every Kenyan wherever in the country they may wish to settle.

Will weaken the Central government
It is also true that the system will weaken the Central government in many ways including its’ ability to collect revenue. In all likelihood this will be the initial effect, however over time the Central government should be able to re-position itself and find a new role that will restore power and strength to it as the central overall governing authority. One can also argue that to strengthen the government in the medium term and long term devolution is vital so as to fully exploit the massive untapped potential we have in the country.

Certain areas in the country will be bankrupt before they start
It is also true that while certain regions will be very strong and prosperous, others will not only be weak but totally unviable. Take most of the vast North Eastern as an example. Prospects of raising revenue there are gloomy at best. The population is too low and there is not much in terms of viable commercial activity that can take place there. However this is not entirely a disadvantage because it will present the devolved government in that area with a challenge that they have to find a solution to.

If we can abandon the 60s thinking for a minute, the North Eastern province has vast potential to do many things. For instance lots of solar energy can be generated from the province to be sold to the national grid (energy is a major problem worldwide and we are going into a serious deficit in the next few years). Wind generators for the same purpose can also do extremely well in the province. Even agriculture can be successfully practiced (the soil and climate there is not very different from what there is in Israel today and that nation produces a huge amount of agricultural produce and most of it is exported). Without a Majimbo system North Eastern will never change but with devolution it stands a fighting chance of changing it’s fortunes. Just look at what the Americans did with Las Vegas (also a desert).

P.S. Here is yet another idea for revenue generation in the North Eastern province. It is clear that our cities are drowning in garbage (our politicians will only take note when people start drowning in it), the wide open spaces of the North eastern province are ideal for the operations of a waste disposal company that will concentrate on recycling as much of the waste as possible for environmental reasons. There is also plenty of space for landfills and no huge population. Enforcing city bylaws will be enough to guarantee such a company plenty of business from the 3 major cities in the country and many other towns.

P.S. 2 The traditional income generating activities in the province can also be enhanced. For example goat rearing and in some areas cows and other livestock as well. The ideal place to create beef-related factories. Also if it is successful in becoming a major energy generation area can attract IT and Internet-related businesses which are on the increase worldwide.


Advantages

The only way to ensure equitable distribution of wealth
Apart from ensuring equitable distribution of wealth countrywide, Majimboism is the best chance Kenya has of narrowing the gap between the rich and poor because many more opportunities will be created at location and even village level.

Poverty is something that has to be fought and this is much more urgent than many in the political class seem to realize. Because poverty can be directly linked to so many other serious problems in our society like crime and HIV Aids.


Will dramatically speed up development
There is no doubt that devolution will dramatically speed up development countrywide.

Will dramatically reduce corruption
A Majimbo system will help fight corruption. When ordering supplies for the whole country, it is much easier to play all sorts of games and overprice things. However when each region is responsible for its’ own supplies it will dramatically reduce and ultimately eliminate corruption because each region will be able to clearly see exactly what is going on on the ground and vote accordingly in the next elections. With the current structure of the country it will be much easier to prosecute corrupt persons in the district level than it has been to deal with the national heavyweights.

In the long term has a better chance of dealing with tribalism
In the long term, a majimbo system is ironically the best chance the country has of dealing with tribalism. What will happen is that there will be more interdependence between regions and a greater appreciation of each other over time.

Will solve rural to urban migration problem
Devolution will create a lot of jobs at the village and location level as well as small business opportunities and will therefore help reverse the current massive ruiral to urban migration that is of great concern and worsens many other problems the country is facing in its’ major cities and towns.

Conclusion
There seems to be a very deliberate effort to confuse ordinary Kenyans about Majimboism and to create fear. However majimboism as spelt out in the Bomas draft presents great opportunities for Kenya. We need to shun old ideas and old leaders who are bankrupt of new ideas and embrace the future. We cannot embrace that future by looking at the past and the way things have been done in the past.

Excited (Kenya Betrayed)



Chapter 24

I was excited - the prospect of going back to Kenya, of stepping on the red Kenyan soil again, lifted my spirits wildly.

Because of the trip, I decided to go down to the galerias and buy some items I would need in Kenya. Before leaving, I called my girl-friend to accompany me.

Sue had been living in Zambia where her parents had a farm. Over the last years, she had become my best friend with whom I could exchange ideas and thoughts about Africa.

Minutes later, I was on the two-lane street that linked my neighbourhood to the main highway leading to Marbella. Here my friend was already waiting.

I told her about the developments of the last days and that I had decided to go to Nairobi.

When I finished, Sue looked at me curiously, "Why are you taking this risk? Are you not afraid that these goons may start accusing you to have had also a love affair with Dr. Ouko? That you are responsible for his death? Just think about all the lies which especially this crook of Nicholas Biwott has been distributed about you all these last years...."

I sighed, I knew Sue was right, still I said, "I will survive also that. I know - and so does Mrs. Ouko - that Bob was my best friend. The only person I could trust in that Government - and nothing else. And if I am responsible, then because I have given him the information and the documents regarding the corruption because I wanted him to beat their schemes...... and this is on my conscious and I will have to live with it forever. But exactly for this reason, I want his killers brought to justice - it's as easy as that."

"But what about all the projects you were involved with? All the money you have lost? All the money you have spent during your time in Kenya? You told me that you have paid all preliminary expenses out of your own pockets..... this must have been quite a big amount. What are you doing about that? Would you be willing to go back and continue your work if you would have a chance?"

"These are many questions at once," I said, sipping my coffee. "But let me reply one by one. - You know, I had been involved in the revival of the Molasses Plant which was a stalled project and Dr. Ouko wanted to revive it since Kenya was loosing a lot of money. The project had been financed in asking private loans by Swiss Banks - with the guarantee given by the Kenyan Government. So it was Kenya which had to take over the repay the loan - and I think the interest rate agreed was reaching more or less 12 % per year........ when I got involved the debts with the Swiss Banks had reached abt. 200 Million $ ........ this was the reason why they asked me to help.....

..... I started to work on this based on an official Mandate issued by the Government with Parliament and Attorney General approval - so by no means just because Dr. Ouko had asked me even calling the Molasses Project his 'pet' project - as certain people now try to say .......... my Mandate authorized me to look for a reputable Company to do this project and to arrange for the financing.......... and I was successful in both......

..... the Group I brought to Kenya was even willing to invest their own money and presented a document to the Kenyan Government in which they not only guaranteed the repayment of the loan but also an annual net profit for Kenya of min. 2 Million $ for its share of 51 % in the plant.......

..... everybody seemed to be happy - even President Moi. At least that's what he told a gathering in Kisumu ......

..... but there was one who hated the idea - and that was Nicholas Biwott. He feared that Dr. Ouko - who had already emerged as the most charismatic leader not only in Kenya, but mainly abroad - could get too much influence. So he started to boycott all our efforts......... I do not want to bother you with all details. But I will certainly disclose them in Nairobi ...... because there is one very important point which still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it:

..... besides the Molasses Plant - by the way my Mandate also included the construction of a new Cement Factory and also here I had already introduced a leading Cement Producer from Italy who was also willing to bring in own capital and form a joint-venture with the Kenyan Government ............

..... there was one project which I had set all my heart on and which was the real reason why I accepted Moi's request brought to me by his private Secretary, Abraham Kiptanui, to come back to Kenya ........

..... and that was the building of low- and medium rent houses to wipe out the slums not only in Nairobi like Kibera but also in other parts of the country .......... I had been able - together with some big international Groups - to secure the incredible amount of more than 300 Million US-$. We were planning to build decent houses for all the poor people living in the slum areas now, arrange for decent sanitation facilities, water supply, electricity etc.......

..... you remember, I left Kenya in April 1981 after Biwott had tried to kill me. I was almost hit by a car and narrowly survived a good poisoning. Biwott had envied my relationship with Moi and feared to loose the grip on him. At that time, Biwott had been used to spend the evenings with Moi where he could resume the day and make sure that at the end his own decisions were the ones ruling the following day .........

..... this had worked up to them very well. Mainly because he had planted all his people in State House - so he was in total control ........ no wonder, they started to call him 'Total Man' ...... he had warned me to stay away from Moi. He also told me about the Ugandan girls which he had selected for Moi (even claiming that he was 'testing' them first before passing them to Moi and that I should not even dream that I could 'compete' with them) ................

..... and just to show you, how dirty and how sick this man is ............

..... when I left, Biwott had told Moi that I had decided to go back to Dr. Mungai....... and it seems, Moi first also believed him - as he usually did - but then much to my surprise Moi has sent Abraham Kiptanui to meet me in Switzerland. Kip - how I called him - made the proposal that I should come back to Kenya and work officially for the Government. This would give me the necessary protection - also from Biwott.....

..... but again Biwott found a way to warn me and for some years I did not got ...........

..... then in 1985, I received this request for the Low Cost Housing Scheme ..... Moi knew my weak point .... and he was successful since I started to work on it. It was not easy because this is not a 'normal' business - this is a social matter not very much in the interest of companies here ........ but I was successful and found a big international Group willing to get involved with the private money of its owners ........... unbelievable ....... to find rich people willing to help Africa ..... Kenya ...... to help the poor people to come out of their misery ....... but sometimes also miracles are possible .....

..... and then I went back to Kenya for the first time together with some leading Company Representatives .....but again I had to face Biwott and his hate for me from the very first moment we arrived in Nairobi.....

..... he was especially furious because Moi had not informed him and he had to find out via his own 'sources' that I was coming. And he made sure that all our meetings were cancelled until I had not settled his 'demands'................

..... so for the first time I was confronted with corruption and asking bribes .........and latest at that moment I realized how much had changed during the last years - or was it just because I never had known about this before? Anyway, I got to know how much influence Biwott had gained .......

..... I tried to get into contact with Moi ..... with Kiptanui ......... but I was always told that none of them was available........

The 5 Most Popular Stories in Kumekucha Today

The 5 Most Popular Stories in Kumekucha Today

1. Kenya's forgotten tribe

2. Are you married?

3. Jimnah Mbaru and NSE expose

4. Gor Sunguh (Kenya Betrayed)

5. Otieno Kajwang gets life line from Raila, but...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kenya’s Forgotten Tribe

Next to the Luo you will not believe the other Kenyan tribe that has suffered the most neglect in terms of development assistance from the central government. It is of course the Kikuyu.

Most people reading this would be incredulous at my assertion, but let me explain.

Contrary to what most Kenyans think many areas in Central province are the most underdeveloped in the country and things would have been much worse was it not for the enterprising and creative spirit that most of our Kikuyu brothers seem to possess naturally. The community has also been greatly aided by their proximity to Nairobi.

Under the Kenyatta regime, the president was very careful to be seen as a national figure and was uncomfortable about taking development projects to his Gatundu constituency. The result is there for all to see even today as this is one of the most backward areas in the entire Central province.

During the Moi era, the president did everything to sabotage the revenue generating activities that were perceived to give the Kikuyu economic might. Even at the expense of national interests. Just ask a few farmers what really happened to the coffee industry and the tea industry. To date things have never gone been the same again.

The situation during the Kenyatta years was replicated in uncanny detail during the Kibaki administration of the last 5 years but to make matters worse the house of Mumbi now finds itself in a precarious position where other Kenyans are claiming that they have had too long a time at the centre of power enjoying the national cake. Many members of the Kikuyu tribe get very angry at that suggestion and quite rightly so, because there is really nothing that they have enjoyed or benefited from directly from producing two of Kenya’s 3 president’s so far.

Sad;ly the truth is that most members of the community are gladly taking the flak on behalf of very few individuals who have used their position to rob the country blind but who are very quick to fall back on the community for support whenever they feel threatened.

Most Kikuyus are highly intelligent people, in fact exceptionally so and this is one reason why they have been able to survive many things and still come pout looking like they are on top of the situation. However now is as good a time as any for our Kikuyu brothers to disentangle themselves from those few wealthy individuals and draw a clear line. Now is as good a time as any for our Kikuyu brothers to join the rest of Kenyans in saying “No” to bad governance and many years of being lied to. Now is the time for them to realize that Kenya really has ONLY 2 tribes. The corrupt wealthy and the majority who are without wealth.

It is time they said “No” to being used by a few people to achieve their political objectives.

The Implications On The NSE Of The Chairman's Political Affiliations

Guest post By John Maina

Many have been quick to politicise comments made by ODM Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga about the NSE. They have singularly associated the share index downward trend to his earlier comments on drug money finding its way to NSE also his concerns of share manipulation by a few well connected individuals. Paul Muite the chair of (Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs) similarly expressed the latter concerns albeit both politicians did not give details.


Chairman of the NSE, crafty Jimnah Mbaru

On Raila Odinga’s comments many have castigated him as an anti-development, alleged he is a communist, thus he would nationalise the listed companies. Others have even argued that he is a propagandist seeking political mileage.

However, many have overlooked the fact that Raila himself owns various private businesses and has strongly argued against his distracter that he has heavily invested at the NSE

Moreover, many people have glossed over others factors likely to be impacting on the downward trend. Such include, investors disposing of share in readiness to safcom IPO and the Christmas festival.

Other reasons as recently pointed by the NSE board are the rising inflation resulting in disposal of stocks so as to buy basic commodities.

Jittery investors holding back in anticipation of the political transition and uncertainty on the direction that the stock market is taking cannot be ruled out either.

One significant but overlooked factor that might also be contributing to the share index downward trend is that of the NSE chairman’s political affiliation and utterances.

Though as a presidential candidate Raila utterances and policies will have an impact on NSE, so too would the utterances and associations that the NSE chairman makes.

It is worth noting that, apart from being the current NSE chairman, Jimnah Mbaru also owes the largest investment bank/stock breakage firm in Kenya. His firm has won very many lucrative contracts from the current government. He is also a member of the presidential national advisory council on socio-economic issues. Also a member of T.C.L an investment clubs whose members are who is who in the current regime. This club has clinched top notch deals within a short period.

Contentiously, the NSE Chairman is also a staunch support of the current regime and is rumoured to be eying a parliamentary seat. He was recently in London with the president daughter and Equity bank CEO vilifying Raila. Not long ago he commented that an O.D.M win at the general election would cause the market to tumble. It is said that he has the regimes eye and ear.

Above issues may be interpreted by investors as resistance to changes likely to be introduced by and ODM government if it comes to power.

Yet it is clear to anybody that has been investing at the NSE that, just like the Capital Market Authority, both are screaming for revolutional transformation from the gentlemen’s club they are, into a modern efficient, effective and transparent stock market and regulatory body.

Other investors may foresee a conflictual relationship between NSE (If led by the current chairman) and a future ODM government when the chairman refuses to be politically neutral.

There are also concerns the chairman has not come out to strongly condemn recent alarmist and false remarks attributed to the finance minister on the NSE losing 200 billion whilst the actual figure was 5billion.

Ironically, the chairman’s has neither come out to reassure anxious investors about the increasingly politicisation of the NSE

From this one can conclude that the chairman cannot hold onto his seat and at the same time engage in politics without impacting on the share index. Indeed, stand presents a conflict of interest. Therefore, the best the chairman can do to reassure investors is to stick to one role rather than apportioning blame where it is not due.

The writer is a member of Kenya Capital Investment Group, www.mjengakenya.blogspot.com

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