THE SYSTEM HAS COLLAPSED
October 16, 2014
THE SYSTEM HAS COLLAPSED
October 16, 2014
The System is in Deep crisis and even Court orders are no longer respected
October 14, 2014
Kenyan civil society campaigners said at the United Nations on Friday that International Criminal Court member states should consider imposing sanctions on Kenya if ICC judges rule that the government is not cooperating in the case involving President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The three activists speaking at a news conference at UN headquarters suggested that such action may be needed to ensure that justice is done for those victimised in the post-election violence nearly seven years ago. The government has blocked efforts by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to obtain records that could serve as evidence against President Kenyatta, the activists charged.
They have been presenting that view in meetings in recent days with the UN missions of nations that are parties to the treaty establishing the ICC.
And they have been warning the UN missions that even if the ICC judges conclude that Kenya is not cooperating, the case against President Kenyatta could still languish unless the ICC’s Assembly of State Parties somehow compels the government to provide the records sought by the prosecutor. At present, “there is no mechanism for compelling such cooperation,” noted Haron Ndubi, a member of Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice.
He and the other two Kenyans addressing reporters did not express confidence that the case will even reach the point of being referred to the Assembly of State Parties. “It is highly likely that the case will collapse,” said Abdul Noormohamed, legal officer for the Open Society Initiative for East Africa. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda should not be blamed for such an outcome, added Stella Ndirangu, a program manager for the International Commission of Jurists-Kenya.
Ms Bensouda lacks the ability to force the government to hand over documents she believes may contain evidence against President Kenyatta, Ms Ndirangu said. The prosecutor’s task has been further complicated by the death, disappearance or recanting of testimony of some prosecution witnesses in the case, Ms Ndirangu commented.
She noted that there is another option open to ICC trial judges other than terminating the case or referring it to the Assembly of State Parties. The judges could also dismiss the case “without prejudice,” meaning that the prosecution could be revived if new evidence arises, Ms Ndirangu said. Whatever The Hague court decides, the activists vowed that they will continue working in Kenya to deliver justice for the election violence victims.
Civil society groups have brought two cases to Kenyan courts. One involves a Constitutional issue regarding those displaced by the 2007-2008 violence. The other focuses on eight victims of sexual violence, “both male and female,” Ms Ndirangu said.
In matters involving international criminal law, there is no time limit on liability, Mr Noormohamed noted. He cited the example of cases related to the World War II Nazi Holocaust in which “it can take 50, 60 years, but one day you see justice done.” He pleaded for attention to the plight of the thousands of Kenyans who were killed, raped or displaced during the 2007-2008 mayhem. “They’re poor, they’re indigent, no one gives them a voice,” Mr Noormohamed said.
He noted that more than 100 Kenyan MPs accompanied President Kenyatta to The Hague on Wednesday, “but nobody spoke for those who died.” “Our situation is such that the perpetrators have become the victims,” Mr Noormohamed remarked.
October 14, 2014
Harun Gathece whose images are attached was on Wednesday 8/10/2014 evening hacked to death by City Council Askaris. He was cornered at his place of work at New Ngara Market (Sunami) as he went about his hawking business. Several others were serious injured.
As earlier reported, city council askaris have for the last two years been attacking small scale traders popularly known as hawkers with machetes and other crude weapons. Efforts by victims to register complains at central police station have been unsuccessful since the officers at the station’s report office have instructions not to record reports from hawkers. Instead whenever they attempt they are intimidated or locked up and charged with illegal hawking.
Within the two years, 9(nine) have lost their lives in similar circumstances while about 50 (fifty) have been attacked and seriously wounded.
26 year Harun Gathece is the latest victim. He died on arrival at Kenyatta National Hospital where he was rushed by colleagues on referral from Guru Nanak Hospital and his body lies at the city mortuary.
According to witnesses the Askaris descended on the market attacking everyone on sight. They caught up with Gathece who tipped as he tried to flee and set upon him with knives and machetes. Before he died, he named one of his attackers as Akasi Abhani aka Wasiwasi a city askari [pictured in a green sweater holding rocks].
Akasi Abhani aka wasiwasi was also named by Irungu Kamau who was removed from a city hotel and hacked to death on 23rd Sep. 2013 moments before he passed out.
As good citizens, editors are now requested to put these cases in the court of public opinion since the authorities are unwilling to investigate and bring the heinous acts to a halt by prosecuting the culprits.
October 13, 2014
From today, Monday, 13th October 2014 until Monday, 27th October 2014 in Sweden, any non-white person can be stopped by police in the streets, inside and outside train stations, inside the train, at shopping centers and at any other public place to be asked for identification.
More scary is that police can knock on any door and claim that they have a tip that an illegal immigrant aka paperless person is living at the address. If you are the owner of the house and you just lost your ID, you will, most certainly, be taken in “for investigations” to establish your status before being released. In fact, if you have a visa that has expired, you will most likely, hit home base with the next flight so pack all your stuff neatly just in case! This is the new Sweden.
The program is called “Mos Maiorum”, an Italian instigated pan-EU project intended to round up “illegal immigrants” and “refugees in the underground” to be caged ahead of deportation to their home countries. As a member of the European Union, Sweden has accepted to participate in the project, a move that has created a major uproar within the immigrant community, refugee groups, radical politicians and human rights activists.
The program comes hot on the heels of another failed program called REVA which empowered police to stop any “suspected illegal immigrant” or refugee to be checked and, if found paperless, locked before deportation. According to Malin Björk, a Parliamentarian of the Left Party, “Mos Maiorum is REVA on steroids”
Although the stated purpose of Mos Maiorum (which is Latin and means ancient custom or unwritten law) is to “gather information in order to identify illegal immigrant smuggling and to identify and prosecute organized criminals”, Björk has argued that there is already enough mechanism to gather such information. Björk says that such work can be conducted through Frontex, an EU boarder agency that includes the so called “debriefing team” which interviews people in the refugee camps to track their routes and to try and nab human smugglers.
Apart from igniting memories of the ill-fated REVA, Mos Maiorum has rekindled debate about an illegal and secretive racial profiling of the “Roma people” aka Gypsies by Swedish police, a program which saw Roma people categorized in police records under circumstances that fitted racial profiling.
This time round, non-white people are the main targets of Mos Maiorum and it will be impossible for the Swedish police to implement the program without the police being seen as racist.
Patrik Engstrom, Deputy Head of the border police, told Aftonbladet newspaper that people will not be stopped by police for identification based on skin colour. “According to the law, it is not allowed to stop someone based on their appearance”, Engström said, adding that “We must have a valid reason, a tip, conduct or behavior, and so we carry out checks in combination with other police work, like drunk driving controls”.
Linguistically speaking, the Swedish police are well trained in covering up controversial or potentially racist police activities using acceptable phraseology and anonymous citing of the law to add credibility to the explanation. Why?
Rule of engagement
Because it is already the rule of engagement that when a person is stopped for any suspected offence (drunken driving, strange conduct or behaviour etc) the first thing the suspect is usually requested by police to do is to produce an identification document. Consequently, the police does not need to put Mos Maiorum in motion to establish the legal status of a person in Sweden. The main purpose of Mos Maiorum is to enable police to stop anybody (read non-white) to be asked for identification.
Just like any immigrant or refugee in Sweden will testify, the so called undocumented aka paperless immigrants are almost impossible to be caught by police under current circumstances unless police breaks the law. This is because this group rarely engage in petty crimes like drunken driving, shop-lifting, peeing by the road side, creating a disturbance in a public environment, spitting at a public place, consuming alcohol at prohibited places, smoking in public, excessive partying in pubs (where security guards ask for IDs at the door), engaging in a fight, raping women, doing drugs, being present at a crime scene, or running down the train station without a valid ticket.
With or without papers, and with thousands of surveillance cameras mounted at every corner, street, train wagon, shop, toilet environments, ATM machines, public buses and any other public place, anybody engaging in any sort of crime (especially in urban areas) run the risk of being caught to face justice.
The underlying point is that although the number of the “paperless” continues to grow in Sweden, the police are increasingly being unable to catch their prey because of high discipline among the paperless. For this reason, the “unwritten law” in Mos Maiorum is to enable police to stop ANYBODY (an illegal act that does not exist under current Swedish law) and hope that they have their prey.
It is unfortunate that the implementation of this program is coming at a time when the Swedish Democrats (SD), an open racist Party calling for the expulsion of all immigrants from Sweden, has just made a big electoral advance in the just concluded Swedish national elections. Stopping refugees from coming to Sweden and spot checks of IDs by police (of non whites) was a constantly recurring theme of SD’s anti-immigrant propaganda during campaigns. It is therefore ironical that a Social Democratic government is implementing a policy that was principally being championed by a hard-core Neo-Nazi party whose program is teething with racist policies.
As Mos Maiorum gets into motion, the paperless have cause to worry. Interestingly, the Social Democratic party that has just come to power under a platform of reform, has so far refused to take a stand on the question of Mos Maiorum. According to the Press Secretary of the Interior Minister, Anders Ygeman who made a written response to Aftonbladet newspaper:
“It is the police who decide whether to participate in operational activities and how participation should look like. Controls are a natural part of police work. Police have regulations of internal immigration controls that will prevent the controls from being conducted in a manner that is ethnically discriminatory”, wrote Yegman.
For now, those concerned can only wait until December 11th 2014, time when the result of Mos Maiorum will be presented. The project is the 7th operation of its kind against undocumented immigrants in EU.
In September last year, operation “Perkunas”, another racist operation that openly discriminated against non-white people, was conducted and when the result was presented, the State was happy to announce that it had netted 10,459 undocumented immigrants who were stopped by police, nabbed and deported to their home countries.
What was never published is the number of victims who were stopped using the so called “valid reasons” or the number of tips that were received by the police ahead of arrests and deportation. As the paperless dig deeper into their fox holes in the deeper underground, it is a wait and see game before the count of the unlucky ones is presented in December. Living in Sweden without papers has just become tougher!
October 13, 2014
“The alarm is rising on the spread of the Ebola virus. Statistics, though not clear say at least 3,500 people have died from what they think is Ebola in 2014. The majority of cases have taken place in West Africa, mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leon. However the first fatality has now taken place in the United States of a Liberian national recently arriving in the US. Many questions are being asked from if this disease is man made to whether it is being used as an excuse by the United States to control more African resources? This after US president Barack Obama declared war on Ebola, but instead of ordering health professionals to Africa, he has ordered the deployment of thousands of military troops.”
October 7, 2014
When Kenya’s President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta shows up at The Hague he will become the first sitting head of state to appear before the International Criminal Court (ICC) as an accused person (Kenyatta attended his pretrial hearing at the ICC in September, 2011, but at that time he was still deputy prime minister).
Kenyatta has been called to The Hague for a status conference—a private meeting between the judges, the prosecution and the defense to consider the state of the case. In deciding to postpone the trial opening originally scheduled for October 7, and to schedule the status conference instead, Trial Chamber V(b) noted that the case had reached a “critical juncture.” This is also one of the reasons the chamber gave in its September 30 decision for insisting on Kenyatta’s presence, despite a defense request that he be excused from attending court.
The gravity of the moment is reflected in the central question that will be before the judges on Tuesday and Wednesday: should the chamber indefinitely adjourn the trial, as requested by the prosecution, or terminate it, as Kenyatta’s lawyers have asked?
Both the defense and prosecution agree on one thing: the prosecution’s evidence does not meet the “beyond reasonable doubt” threshold necessary to prove the allegations against Kenyatta. Each side, however, has different reasons for reaching this conclusion.
However, judges will not be deciding on whether the evidentiary threshold has been met by the prosecution when they hear submissions between October 7 and October 8. In different decisions Trial Chamber V(b) and its predecessor, Trial Chamber V, have emphasized that judges can only determine the strength or quality of any evidence once a trial has taken place.
Instead, the chamber will be seeking clarity on the progress of implementing its decision of July 29 this year, which ordered the Kenyan government to provide the prosecution with eight categories of records relating to Kenyatta or companies and third parties associated with him. That decision followed an earlier one made in March in which the chamber required the Kenyan government and prosecution to meet and negotiate how to make available those records and then report to the chamber every two months.
In the July 29 decision, the judges did not set any reporting conditions, so the status conference on Tuesday will be the first time since that decision that the chamber will be hearing jointly from both sides. The prosecution has said these records will determine whether the prosecution will persevere with the case or withdraw the charges against Kenyatta.
Before this latest phase of the Kenyatta case, his lawyers had applied three times to have the case terminated or have the proceedings permanently suspended. In March last year, Kenyatta’s defense team asked the chamber to terminate the case. The judges at the time held that terminating the case was not the appropriate remedy to the issues Kenyatta’s lawyers raised. At the time, Kenyatta’s lawyers said that the withdrawal of a key prosecution witness and the prosecution’s delayed disclosure of evidence were grounds for terminating the case. Trial Chamber V disagreed and instead gave Kenyatta’s lawyers more time to prepare their defense.
In January this year, Kenyatta’s lawyers renewed their request for the case against their client to be terminated; at that time they cited a prosecution statement to the court that the current evidence against Kenyatta did not meet the beyond reasonable doubt threshold required by the ICC. Trial Chamber V(b) declined to grant that request. The chamber pointed out that the prosecution had yet to receive records that were requested from the Kenyan government in April 2012; it concluded that this matter needed to be resolved first, before any decision on the request to terminate the case could be taken. In that decision made in March this year, the chamber left open the issue of whether to refer Kenya to the ICC membership for failure to cooperate with the court.
Kenyatta’s lawyers also applied to the chamber to permanently suspend the case or issue a permanent stay of proceedings in October, 2013. They argued then that a witness, Witness 118, and an intermediary for the prosecution had sought to influence a group of 10 prosecution witnesses to make up evidence against Kenyatta. In that application, they also argued that another prosecution witness, Witness 12, had solicited money to change his evidence in favor of Kenyatta. The judges concluded that issuing a permanent stay of proceedings was an extreme measure to be taken to protect the rights of an accused person to a fair trial. The chamber said that was not the situation in the Kenyatta case.
The judges also concluded that a lot of what the defense said about prosecution witnesses could only be tested in a trial process. They gave an example of audio recordings Witness 12 made on the prosecution’s instruction. The judges noted that the defense and prosecution interpreted differently the translation of those recordings, and those interpretations, the judges said, could only be best tested in a trial.
Kenyatta’s trial has been postponed five times now. His lawyers have sought to halt the proceedings at least three times. These factors cumulatively raise the question of an accused person’s right to a fair and expeditious trial, as provided for in the ICC’s fundamental law, the Rome Statute. These considerations will also be on the minds of the judges of Trial Chamber V(b) once they rise at the end of the second status conference next week to go and reach a decision on whether to adjourn or terminate the trial.
The victims of the bloodshed that followed the December 2007 presidential election who are yet to receive justice will also surely be taken into consideration. This is the reason why the Kenyan cases are before the ICC in the first place.
As the chamber said, the case has reached a “critical juncture.”
October 7, 2014
Unfinished Business: What it means to be poor in the land of Presidents, is a film made by a team of civil rights activists working in Central Kenya, homeland of three of Kenya’s four presidents. What have these presidents given or taken away from the Kikuyu community? InformAction’s SK Wandimi and cameraman.
MARTIN NGATIA SAYS KENYATTA WAS A LAND GRABBER AND MURDERER
October 7, 2014
By accepting to appear at the International Criminal Court, suspect Uhuru Kenyatta has demonstrated that the endless anti-ICC rhetoric (by himself and sycophants alike) since he was indicted by the court has been hot air. After mobilizing African dictators under the auspices of the AU to sign a declaration “barring sitting African heads of State” from attending ICC sessions, AU must have been humbled as Uhuru heads to The Hague to parade himself before the very imperialist powers both Uhuru and AU have been vilifying consistently.
The decision by Uhuru to appear before the ICC must have been informed by two factors. If he failed to appear before the Court, ICC could have issued an arrest warrant for Uhuru, an action that could have exacerbated Uhuru’s situation because it could have prevented him from travelling anywhere.
Another reason that might have motivated Uhuru to obey ICC is because he is hoping that he will not be detained by the Court. So far, there are at least 20 reasons that ICC could exploit to detain Uhuru at the ICC. These are valid reasons and as Uhuru leaves for the Hague, his supporters should keep their fingers crossed because they may have seen the last of President Uhuru Kenyatta in case ICC decides to flex its muscles. What are the 20 reasons why Uhuru can be detained at The Hague? He has:
1. Threatened witnesses not to testify
2. Intimidated Witnesses to withdraw from case
3. Bought out witnesses to pull out of the case
4. Killed witnesses or made them to disappear
5. Denied ICC his personal financial records
6. Denied ICC key evidence in government’s custody
7. Abused ICC and Western Powers using the strongest terms possible
8. Allowed sycophants to abuse ICC at every opportunity
9. Undermined ICC in public speeches
10. Influenced the Kenyan government not to cooperate with ICC
11. Intimidated the Kenyan Media to tell lies about ICC
12. Mobilized AU to take an anti-ICC position which favored him
13. Mobilized Kenyan Parliament to pass a vote removing Kenya from ICC
14. Maintained consistent arrogance against ICC
15. Used Kenyan AG as personal Lawyer at ICC
16. Intimidated witnesses to recant evidence
17. Used government machinery to fight his ICC case
18. Views ICC as a suppressive tool of Western Imperialism
19. Mobilized African dictators against ICC
20. Constantly seeking to portray ICC as incompetent, illegal and unjust
Just as I said here at KSB, the Africa Union cover of Uhuru Kenyatta through a resolution barring him from appearing before the Court was naïve because AU has no influence over ICC. The sycophantic MPs accompanying Uhuru to The Hague are not only wasting time. They are provoking ICC. These MPs seem to believe that the more they mobilize, the more they will influence ICC to leave Uhuru alone. If ICC feels provoked, the MPs may have to return to Kenya without Uhuru Kenyatta. The best the MPs could have done is to avoid unnecessary theatrics of singing the National anthem outside ICC and remain in Kenya to serve their electorates. For now, Kenyans and the world are in for a wait and see.
October 3, 2014
This is to inform Mr. Okulo Masala to get in touch with home as soon as possible. A relative has called KSB to say that your mother has passed on but the family has been unable to get in touch with you. KSB has a number you can call so act asap. Regards.
September 19, 2014
The Mark Gaya family would like to thank all Kenyans, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers who supported the family morally, economically and in any other way after Susan, Gaya’s wife, lost her dear brother in Kenya. Susan is currently in Kenya to attend her brother’s funeral.
Speaking to KSB, Mr. Gaya thanked the “Susan Support Committee” that was headed by Mr. Jared Odero for the great job the Committee rendered in support of the family during a difficult moment marked with great shock and sorrow. Gaya also thanked all those who congregated at the family residence in Märsta immediately and after the sad news was broken to be with them plus all the good people who attended a Prayer/Fund raising meeting that was held on Saturday, 6th September as part of funeral arrangements in Stockholm. Further, Gaya thanked all friends who volunteered to sit in the Committee in support of his family.
According to Jared Odero, Committee Chairman, a total of 11.000kr was realized after all deductions of bank-rolling and other overhead expenses. Mr. Odero thanked everybody who attended the event and all those who helped in realizing the funds at very short notice. According to Mark Gaya, Susan’s brother will be buried tomorrow, Saturday, 20th September 2014 in his home village in Siaya county.
September 17, 2014
Place: Lilla Wien “Little Nairobi”
Addr: Swedenborgsg: 20
Pendel: Södra station
New CD Shujaa Mamadou Ndala
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September 15, 2014
The family of Charles Orwe (the Owili family) would like to thank all Kenyans, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers who joined the them in mourning following the demise of Chalie’s mother in Kenya during the month of July this year.
Speaking to KSB, Charlie said that the family would like to thank everybody who gave them moral support or who showed solidarity with the family in any way following the death of his beloved mother.
“We are grateful to all those who came to be with us during that difficult time”, Charlie told KSB. He said that the burial went well and that currently, the family is in a long process of healing and accepting the will of the almighty God who had decided that it was time for his mom to be with her creator.
Charlie hoped that Kenyans in Stockholm and friends alike will continue to show solidarity with each other during such trying moments.
September 12, 2014
September 9, 2014
Place: Lilla Wien”Little Nairobi”
Addr: Swedenborgsgatan 20
Pendel: Södra Station
New CD Shujaa Mamadou Ndala
Buy it from amazon, itunes, qabuz
September 9, 2014
The situation seems to be getting worse for Uhuru Kenyatta on a daily basis. After the “military uniform” debacle last week which was widely criticized across the country as amateurish, Uhuru ran into new problems yesterday in Migori where chairs and tables were not only turned upside down but stones, shoes and other missiles were also thrown at Uhuru, prompting his security to whisk him away to safety.
Although he had travelled to Migori “to bring development” via free provision of mosquito nets to stop malaria in Migori county, Uhuru had hardly opened his mouth when pro-ODM youths started booing him. His host, Governor Okoth had even a rougher time because while Uhuru was able to mumble a few words before a security officer snatched the microphone for the President to be carted away to safety, Governor Okoth never got an opportunity to say anything because chaos erupted before he could take the microphone.
The problem is that governor Okoth is seen by locals to be a Jubilee mole in Nyanza. Last week, he ran into problems after being spotted with Sakajja, a top Jubilee operative, in a Nairobi hotel. As Okoth asserted his right to engage Uhuru as the President of Kenya, little did he know that ODM youths in Migori had vowed to disrupt the scheduled Uhuru function.
The trend of Uhuru Kenyatta being booed across the country or being unable to hold rallies in certain “hostile” regions is not surprising. Uhuru is paying the price of stealing an election through the conspiracy of Mount Kenya Mafia cartel. The lame duck prezzo cannot address rallies in Nyanza, Western, Eastern, North Eastern and parts of Nairobi province.
In fact, the only regions where Uhuru can feel safe is in his native Central province where he is worshiped by a segment of brainwashed or lumpen Kikuyus who have been made to believe that Kenya belongs to Kikuyus and that it is therefore correct for members of Kikuyu elite to steal each and every election to ensure that only a Kikuyu becomes President, now and in future.
The question which millions of Kenyans need to ask themselves is where the country is heading especially with an ICC suspect of a President who cannot visit certain regions within his jurisdiction because he is considered an illegitimate president who stole an election in order to come to power.
When Uhuru visited Kakamega a few weeks ago, he was thoroughly lectured by Boni Khalwale who was disappointed that the president had accepted to pay fake Anglo-Leasing bills. Then, when the president went to Kissi to preside over a function, he was given a thorough public lecture by politician Bachage who accused him of practicing tribalism in government. From Nyanza, Western, Eastern, North Eastern to Coast province, Uhuru is technically becoming a “persona non grata”. Under the circumstances, how can Uhuru govern Kenya?
If the president is not wanted by majority of his own people who view him as a fake President, then citizens ought to accept that the country has a problem. The habit of Uhuru being chased away everywhere he goes is likely to continue. This is very sad because it means that the President can only commute between Nairobi and Central province. Of cause, a situation in which a president is restricted in his own country by citizens who supposedly elected him can be hilarious. However, this situation is sad and should concern every right thinking Kenyan.
September 3, 2014
A mother has beaten odds of a million-to-one by giving birth to a baby who appears to be of a different race. Catherine Howarth, 32, from Milton Keynes, is Nigerian by heritage, and so was, at first, a little taken aback when she saw her son Jonah for the first time.
With his pale skin, green eyes and light brown hair, Jonah, now three months old, looks like any other new-born baby – but, when seen in his mother’s arms, his uniqueness is obvious.
Recalling the moment she delivered Jonah in Milton Keynes Hospital on June 1, his mother told the Sunday Mirror: ‘The midwife looked at me and looked back down at Jonah and then at me again and couldn’t believe it.’
‘Some children get darker after a few weeks when the skin colour they will have for life starts to become obvious. But you can see from the colour at the tips of their ears what that Jonah was fully white.
‘We have been told I must have been carrying a recessive gene. My parents were from Nigeria and, for as far back as anyone can remember; my family have all been black.’
Husband Richard, 34, who works as a medical recruitment consultant, was equally as shocked when he first saw his son, who is the couple’s first child together.
However, he was primarily just happy that Jonah was strong and healthy, after he got the umbilical cord tangled round his neck during labour – a potentially dangerous complication.
‘The colour of Jonah’s skin is of no concern – Jonah being a healthy and happy baby is what matters.’
The couple have been told that they are unlikely to have another white baby if they have further children, due to the extremely rare combination of genes needed.
The phenomenon is not totally unheard of however.
In 2010, parents Benjaman and Angela Ihegboro – both black – introduced their white-skinned, blonde-haired daughter Nmachi to the world.
The couple, from Woolwich, South London, was as baffled as the scientific community at their daughter’s appearance, being unaware of any white heritage at all in either family.
Doctors at Queen Mary Hospital in Sidcup in Kent, where Nmachi was born, immediately ruled out albinism, leading experts to conclude, that like Jonah, Nmachi’s colouring must be the result of recessive genes.
Benjamin says: ‘No one in the family is aware of any white blood at all, and I don’t really know how you go about looking any further. Part of me wants to know what’s happened here, to have an answer to tell Nmachi when she gets older. But another part of me thinks that it doesn’t matter. Perhaps God made her like this for a reason.
‘And quite honestly, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter whether she is white or black or red or green. She’s beautiful and healthy, and that’s what is important.’
- Daily Mail
September 3, 2014
Following the demise of Susan’s brother, Lucas Omollo, a ”Family Support Committee” has been set up by friends in Stockholm to help the family cope with the tragedy. The Committee is headed by Jared Odero (Chairman), Beatrice Auma (Treasurer), Judy Mwamba (Secretary), Teresa Mawa (Organising Secretary) and Okoth Osewe (Information desk).
The immediate task of the Committee is to organize a Prayer Meeting/Fund raising event in support of the family which is currently in deep mourning following the sudden demise of a loved member who was known for his generosity and good humour.
Susan, the bereaved, is planning to travel to Kenya as soon as possible to join her family in mourning Omollo and to attend his brother’s funeral. The late Omollo passed away on the morning of Monday, September 1st 2014 after a short illness. His death was the least expected and to date the family is still unable to come to terms with the fact that he is gone forever to be with his maker. He was a loved member of the family and, according to Susan, he will be missed greatly, both by the family and all those who knew him as a hard-working and very social person who liked his friends and family.
According to Chairman Jared Odero, the Prayer/Fundraising event is scheduled for Saturday, 6th September 2014 at Norrbackaskolan (Odensalavägen 3, in Märsta). bus number 581 from märsta station. The venue is a walking distance from Märsta Station. The Committee is appealing to friends, sympathizers, well-wishes and all people of good will to attend the event and show solidarity with the bereaved family at a difficult time when they are undergoing great shock and sorrow following the sudden demise of Omollo. Fot those who will be away, economic support can be facilitated through Swedbank account number 8327-9,234228344.
The planned event will include an all-night boogie with Kenya-Stockholm’s only Lady DJ IK (aka Aikey) assisted by Kenyan Rapper Jack-Jack of the famed troika swaggering by the name “Africa Unitez”. The group has released several hot videos which have all mesmerized their fans, prompting them to call for more.
Just in passing, IK is a hot sensation and since she hit the Kenya-Stockholm’s music scene after relocating to Stockholm , tongues have constantly been wagging because many Kenya-Stockholmers do not really know who she is due to her “keeping a low profile” habit. Aikey’s capacity to pull the audience from their seats onto the dance floor with tickling and tantalizing Kenyan beats is only rivalled by DJ EZ Frank of the former “Sound of Blackness” fame.
Keen music observers within the Kenya-Stockholm scene have theorized that DJ Aikey “is heading to the top” because she has everything it takes to hit the jackpot from the point of view of Udjey. KSB will not reveal more but: Don’t miss the opportunity to combine solidarity with fun, all happening at Central Skolan, Märsta City, in just 2 days.
As usual, there could be more. For further information, call the Chairman at 0735450203 or the Information Desk at 0736533068. For messages of condolences call 0737394258 or 0769376705 otherwise see you theiya!!
Susan Family Supprt Committee
September 2, 2014
September 1, 2014
This is to inform esteemed KSB readers that Susan Gaya, the wife of Mark Gaya, has lost her brother, Lucas Omollo, in Kenya. The sad news arrived this morning and immediately plunged the family into deep mourning. According to Mark Gaya, Lucas passed away after a short illness.
Consequently, an “Open House” has been set up at the residence of the Gayas in Märsta from 14.00 daily. The address is Blomstervägen 1A, 195 65 Steningehöjden in Märsta.
Mourners who will be travelling via public transport can alight at Märsta Station then board bus number 582 whose last stop is Steningehöjden. For further information and messages of condolences, call 0737394258 or 0769376705.
Friends, relatives, sympathizers and well-wishers are all invited to the Open House to condole with the bereaved family during this difficult time of great shock and sorrow.
Susan is planning to travel to Kenya to attend her brother’s funeral and the Kenyan community in Stockholm is in the process of establishing a “Family Support Committee” to assist the bereaved family to cope with the tragedy that has struck without notice. Further information will be released as soon as it becomes available.
Those who have lost loved ones in the past know and understand the pain, gloom and sorrow that follows the demise of a close and loved family member. It is usually a period of mourning, soul-searching, reflection and remembrance of the departed soul. What the bereaved family needs at this time of gloom are Prayers to the Almighty and solidarity.
KSB sends deep condolences to the bereaved family and hopes that the family will find strength to go through this painful and very trying moment. Lucas has lived his life and has now departed to be with the Lord. At the end of the day, it is God that giveth life and God that taketh away life. May the departed soul of Lucas Omollo rest in Eternal Peace.
August 26, 2014
August 25, 2014
Whichever way you look at it, the Wazee-Vijana Football match held about a week ago exposed a stark reality facing Kenya-Stockholm’s wazees that could have remained expunged from scrutiny. The wazees were thwacked 14-12. However, this defeat, with a margin of only 2 goals, should be deemed “respectable” and a sports critic could be persuaded to credit the wazees for having put up such a formidable resistance against the young Turks who, nevertheless, relaxed their tempo apparently to encourage the wazees. A report on the match can only be complete if the circumstances that led to the defeat of wazee are highlighted.
In the first place, many wazees who were expected at the match did not turn up and an investigation by KSB into the circumstances reveals a mix-up of both tragic and hilarious reasons. The failure of some key players to turn up for the match meant that the team was incomplete while wazees who turned up were demoralized from the start because they immediately understood that they were going in against vijana at a disadvantaged position. Why did wazee go missing at such a crucial match?
The first reason is that Kenya-Stockholm’s wazees are suffering from a series of conditions that makes it impossible for most of them to avail themselves at social functions. According to investigations, the biggest problem is that many wazee are suffering from a series of old-age ailments that have quietly forced them to retire from active social life, leave alone participating in a football match.
For example, Mzee Kobe told KSB that although he could have wanted to play, he is suffering from diabetes and he has to inject himself with insulin at regular intervals to stay alive. Together with his advanced age, running around in a football field chasing a tiny ball with vijana is the last thinkable activity that could come to mind. Consequently, he went missing although he did not want to make his absence clear because he did not want to demoralize other wazees. What about Mzee Dennis Afande?
He did not turn up because he is suffering from high blood pressure. One morning, he was going to work when suddenly he could not breathe. He was in the underground train and as his condition worsened, he managed to get out of the train at some station after which he signaled for a passersby to call an ambulance. When he arrived at St Görans hospital, he was rushed into the acute department and after all was said and done, he got back to his feet but was told that he had to go in for more checkups because his blood pressure was too high. The final diagnosis was that he was suffering from HBP and he was put on medication. When the football match was announced, Mzee Dennis was just entering into rehab to try and stabilize his condition. Under the circumstances, he could not participate in the match although he did not want to bother others with his personal health problems.
That brings us to Mzee Makopoyo who suffered a stroke last December. He was lucky because doctors told him that it was just a “mild stroke”. Following the attack, Mzee Makopoyo has been taking things easy because the stroke shocked him. When asked by KSB why he was shocked, the Mzee said that his thinking was that he was still a “Mzee Kijana” and that when he got the stroke, reality struck to the effect that the “kijana” in his “uzee” was actually an illusion because “vijanas” don’t easily get strokes. He did not show up at the football match because he was still “in meditation”.
If the case of Mzee Makopoyo is unfortunate, the situation facing Mzee Tobby Kaweza is just sad to say the least. He is quietly suffering from cancer of the spleen and this condition has removed him from social life. Makopoyo is on cancer drugs and a strict diet. He has been told that his disease is untreatable so what can be done is to slow the cancer down in order to prolong his life. He is 56 years old but he has had to take an early pension because his condition can no longer allow him to work. The cocktail of drugs has made him weak and participating in a football match with vijana is the last thing he can ever think about. He told KSB that when it comes to sports and other social activities he used to attend, he is a gone case. He is basically counting his days on earth and just begged to be left alone. This brings us to Mzee Alfonse Mashakani, a veteran Kenya-Stockholmer who has also gone underground.
Lost Touch With Reality
When KSB finally got him on the phone and tuned him “to talk”, he was surprised. He did not even know about the football match because, according to him, he has “lost touch with reality”. He is currently at Huddinge hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage. For several weeks, he has been in comatose although at the time of talking to him, he was heading to rehab within the hospital. He told KSB that as a result of the stroke, he was partially paralyzed and that his greatest priority was to regain his health and evaluate what was left of him as he entered the sun-set of his life on earth. This is the sad reality that the football match revealed. Many of Kenya-Stockholm’s wazees are slowly wasting away as a result of diseases. Mzee Mashakani theorized that he suspected that his condition was a consequence of “over-working” and warned fellow Kenyans to take a break in their lives as much as possible to relax and to exercise.
As for Mzee Timbuktu, his absence from the match was not due to sickness. He had just hooked up with a Swedish sweetheart and that week-end was critical because he had fixed a date which he was not gonna miss because of some football match that had just popped up. He told KSB that after he divorced his Kenyan wife, he has been hunting for some white creature “to keep him busy” and it was not until recently that he hit the jackpot. He landed a divorced Swedish woman (almost of his age) and that for now, football can wait! What this means is that the match was lost, not because all wazees are sick but because there are others breaking new grounds. However, the next case of Mzee Dreams Kayole is unique.
He had planned to play on the material day but then a domestic crisis cropped up. He has been quarreling a lot with his long-standing Kenyan wife and he told KSB that chances are that they will soon be splitting up. When he told the wife that he was planning to play for the wazee team, the wifie took advantage of the situation and claimed that one problem she has with him is that he has wrong priorities. According to the wifie, instead of staying at home to be with her, he was planning “an outing” at some field in the name of football. A quarrel ensured and punde si punde, the mzee’s pro-football mood was totally messed up. He took a kinyuaji to cool down tempers but by the time he was calm, it was too late because the match had ended. He failed to show up.
Mountain of Flesh
As for Mzee Sarakasi, the explanation was hilarious. He is single and on Friday, a day before the match, he had been to some African reggae club. As the club was closing down and guests were sipping their last drops, something magical happened. Just from nowhere, a fat-assed, mountain-breasted, chubby faced and “meaty” white Swedish blond-haired and gigantic lassie in her forties zoomed around and kissed him right on the lips. Mzee Sarakasi said that he was genuinely stunned. The enormous size of the woman’s “fundamentals” is exactly what turns him on and he associated the whole surprise with “a manner from heaven”. Before he could say “bwaii!!”, the lady said that she liked him “so match” and that she has been watching him throughout the night.
A conversation started and as he begun to translate the romantic implications of the abrupt encounter, the lady asked him if he could follow her home for “an extension” of the party. Interestingly, the lady lived just around the corner, a walking distance. Sarakasi had planned to show up for the match but unfortunately, by saa saba mchana, the new couple was still in bed! When he made a calculation of the time and what he stood to gain from the football match as compared to the huge white flesh he was wrapped into, he decided not to mention anything about the match. He decided to consolidate the new find, dump the match and see how things developed. Mzee Sarakasi therefore went missing.
The wazee who attended the match beat all odds to be there. Despite their waning stamina and other circumstances, they are still fit and can run in the field. Kudos to these wazees! I will be talking about the vijana in the next installment.
August 23, 2014
August 18, 2014
Container shipment of goods to Kenya has just hit a new peak. According to the proprietor of Orkar-Inte Container Services, the next shipment will leave Stockholm for Kenya on Tuesday, 26th August 2014. All customers intending to ship their packages are therefore encouraged to pack their goods and send them to Okarinte as soon as possible. Customers who used the service during the last shipment reported safe arrival of goods, all cleared by customs.
For prospective customers who have inquired about the delivery method of packages to different destinations in Kenya, the answer is simple. Once the packages arrive in Kenya, the container winds up at Embakasi container deport in Nairobi from where designated recipients can collect their packages.
According to Clay Onyango, the proprietor of Orkarinte who spoke to KSB, the service does not include transporting packages to Nyalgunga, Lokichogio, Pandpieri, Kario-Bangi and other destinations in Kenya’s interior. The deal is that all packages must be collected from Embakasi in Nairobi.
Clay told KSB that although arrangements can be made to deliver the packages anywhere in Kenya, the service is still not available because of many complications. He said that the key obstacle to such a service would be a dramatic increase in shipping prices, a development which, he said, would beat the very intention of the service.
Secondly, Clay said that with extended delivery services, the risk of theft and goods getting lost along the way would be very high. “My Company does not want a situation where goods get lost on the way”, Clay told KSB. “At the moment, we can only guarantee that the goods will get to Nairobi and that they will be delivered to recipients without fail”, he said.
Once the container leaves Stockholm on 26th August, estimated time of arrival in Kenya is 10th October. Goods that are acceptable include building materials, electronics (including TV sets), furniture, clothes and an assortment of other goods.
For customers intending to send goods, the container will be parked at Frihamnsgatan 7 at Frihamnen in Stockholm from 22nd August to 26th August from 12.00 sharp. Customers are advised to call Orkarinte and book space to avoid last minute disappointments. The number to call is 0762103117 or inbox Orkarinte via Facebook. While booking space, clients will be required to make a deposit of an agreed amount.
The price list is as follows: A single normal moving box is 600kr no matter how many kilos it weighs. A 40-60 inch TV set costs 3000kr while a bicycle costs 1500kr. The safety of good is guaranteed once packed while all packages must be accompanied with a detailed dispatch list describing the content of any booked package.
August 17, 2014
KENYA GETS A NEW INTELLIGENCE CHIEF
2006 January 19, 11:28 (Thursday)
SECRETClassified By: PolCouns Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Reasons: 1.4 (B,C,D)
SUBJECT: Kenya Gets a New Intelligence Chief
1. (C) SUMMARY: President Kibaki’s January 16 removal of Brigadier (ret.) Boinett as head of Kenya’s National Intelligence Service (NSIS) removes the USG’s main ally in the counter-terror struggle and one of the few remaining true professionals at the highest level of the Kenyan Government. Boinett’s replacement by an untested Brigadier Gichangi — selected through a process that reeks of tribal cronyism and the use of all instruments of power to stay in power through (and beyond) the 2007 elections — is anything but reassuring. END SUMMARY.
OUT WITH THE OLD…
2. (U) Kenya has a new spy chief. President Kibaki late January 16 named Air Force Brigadier Michael Gichangi, previously the director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, as the Director General of the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS). Kibaki’s decision ends both the seven-year reign of Brigadier (ret.) Wilson Boinett, and
months of jockeying to replace him.
3. (C) Boinett transformed the NSIS from a domestic political tool into a modern professional intelligence service with an emphasis on external threats. A former aide-de-camp to President Moi and the last director of the Special Branch (NSIS’s predecessor, remembered darkly by most Kenyans mostly for running the Nyayo House political detention center during the years of one-party rule), Boinett survived not only the 1999 demise of Special Branch but also the 2002 end of the Moi regime. Recognizing that change was needed, Boinett’s leadership garnered the NSIS domestic and international respect for its relative apolitical nature and seriousness of purpose. Reorganized to provide internal, external and strategic intelligence to the President, NSIS proved to be the USG’s single-most effective Kenyan partner — bar none — in combating Al-Qaeda and related terrorist threats in Kenya.
4. (S) But, in the end, the die was cast for Boinett’s undoing at his birth: he was born into the wrong tribe. An ethnic Kalenjin like former President Moi, Boinett was distrusted from the start of the Kibaki administration by many of those Kikuyu tribesmen closest to President Kibaki. Boinett undoubtedly made matters worse by telling Kibaki and his advisors news they did not like to hear — that Kenya remains vulnerable to al-Qaeda attacks, that tribal conflicts were resurfacing in rural areas, that President Kibaki’s Banana team would lose November’s constitutional referendum, etc.
5. (S) The last straw, it appears, was the referendum. Boinett rebuffed efforts to reallocate NSIS resources to aid the Banana campaign (reftel). The Banana team did indeed lose, and by a huge margin. In recent weeks, Boinett was repeatedly refused access to President Kibaki — for the first time in his tenure.
…AND IN WITH THE NEW
6. (C) As fate would have it, word of Gichangi’s appointment reached Boinett and many senior NSIS officials as they — and Gichangi — were dining at the Ambassador’s residence with a visiting Codel from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The NSIS officials — and a visibly angry Police Commissioner Ali — departed dinner “en masse” just as soon as was diplomatically acceptable. (Ali privately relayed he is concerned about the police’s future working relationship with the NSIS — as he himself has had no such working relationship with Gichangi during the latter’s two years as NCTC Director.) Gichangi began showing up for work at NSIS the next morning.
BOINETT’S WORDS TO LIVE (AND SPY) BY:
7. (U) Boinett’s farewell remarks January 17 to the NSIS rank and file received widespread press coverage. In a thoughtful and respectful speech, Boinett relayed what he called “five attributes of great consequence” for the managing and sustaining a robust intelligence service. What lessons Boinett chose to pass on to his troops speak volumes about the man — and his concerns for the future of the NSIS. They thus bear repeating.
8. (U) ONE: The government should continuously invest in “the character of their gatekeepers and its watchdogs.” TWO: The NSIS Director General “should have direct and unfettered access to the Head of State and Government. In order to earn trust, he has to do things right and the right thing without fear, favor or ill will. In so doing, he must be efficient, loyal and balanced.” THREE: “All men and women of the service must direct all their time and energy towards promoting and projecting that which only serves and informs the national interest. FOUR: The Service should operate within the law.” FIVE: The Intelligence Service is a national insurance for counterintelligence. Yet a balance has to be struck between the national security interests and international threats and challenges. Information-sharing with other nation states has been the practice from time immemorial. These partnerships will need to be maintained, taking into consideration mutual respect, national interests, international law and the nature of power and its influence in a globalized environment.”
9 (C) BIO NOTE: Brigadier Michael Gichangi is an ethnic Kikuyu, the President’s tribe which (along with the smaller, affiliated Embu and Meru tribes from the Mt. Kenya area) has an increasing lock on major power positions in the Kibaki government. Gichangi is reportedly close to both Cabinet Secretary Muthaura and former Security Minister Christopher Murungaru. During his just-concluded tenure as head of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, Gichangi fought tooth and nail against the creation of a Joint Terrorism Task Force designed to bring police, prosecutors and intelligence experts into a joint team. Relatively new to NSIS, Gichangi is as well-known for being a political operator as he is a military professional.
10. (U) BIO NOTE (Cont.): Gichangi was born September 9, 1958 in Kirinyaga District, Central Province. A Mang’u High School Alumni, Gichangi joined the Kenyan Air Force as an F-5 pilot in 1977. In 1982 he became an F-5 instructor. From 1986-1991, Gichangi served as a staff officer (planning) at KDoD Headquarters, Nairobi. He worked in a UN observer force in Iraq, 1992-93. He served as an instructor at the Defence Staff College, 1993-96 in Karen, Nairobi. From 1996-97, Gichangi served as a commanding officer of the Air Force’s Flying Wing. He then served as Commander of the Laikipia Air Base, 1997-2001, before being appointed chief of strategic plans and policy at KDoD Headquarters, where he helped draft the first version of KDoD’s “White Paper” on national defense strategy. He has spent the past two years as the founding Director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center.
11. (C) COMMENT: Boinett is just the latest of a series of competent professionals forced out of the Kibaki administration. Anti-corruption czar John Githongo left last year, frustrated at every turn. Chief Prosecutor Philip Murgor was sacked last May for similar efforts to pursue high crimes. And now Boinett, responsible for the transformation
of NSIS into one of Africa’s premier, and apolitical, intel services is shown the door. While Gichangi might surprise us, the methods involved in replacing Boinett with a Kikuyu widely expected to be a willing accomplice in responding to political pressures from State House — perhaps taking NSIS back towards the days of the Special Branch — is troubling. It is the latest in a long line of post-referendum appointments to let tribe trump talent. State House is increasingly willing to drop public pretense as those around President Kibaki angle to do whatever it takes to ensure they stay in power through 2007 — and beyond. Post has let State House know privately that, though this was purely a sovereign decision for Kenya to make, the choice of Gichangi, and the manner of his appointment, puts at risk continued success in our highest joint priority, counter-terrorism.
August 16, 2014
Today, Saturday 16th August, Kenya-Stockholm’s Wazee wa Kazi Football Team will be playing against the “Young Turks” at Enskede IP (Enskedevägen 115) in Stockholm city. The match, which has attracted massive talk within the Kenyan community in Stockholm, will kick off at 15.00 hrs. Hot in the air is whether the Young Turks will live up to expectation by proving their talents against the Wazees for the first time since the wazees hanged boots a few years ago.
The Turks are facing an uphill task because on the basis of the mountains of ugali the Wazees have brought down over the years (as compared to the Turks), the many Januaries they have crashed and the “veteran profiles” of some of the Wazees in Kenya-Stockholm’s football albums, the Turks will have to employ their latest “tichital” tactics mastered through Play Stations and other video games to challenge the Wazees.
It is a promising match which will see Jacob Opande between the posts with Mark Gaya, Dan Aroka and Steve Biko tackling the Turks at the backline. Mark Gaya is famous for having been the pioneer Kenya-Stockholm Football Coach in them days, an illustrious contribution from where the Turks picked the pieces to set up a formidable team expected to give the wazees a run for their money. It will be interesting to see how the Turks will go past sweeper Steve Biko who is known to be capable of “sweeping any moving object” along the way.
Wazee Strategies from World Cup
In the mid-field will be Mwaura Kajora and Don Clay Onyango. Despite the wazees having put on some weight as a result of the “nyama choma effect”, the extra meat that has found a home on the bellies of some of the wazees is expected to be of some advantage by adding extra and critical vertical gravity to propel the fat bodies forward as things get hot in the field. In preparation for the match, both Clay and Kajora have been lifting a lot of metal to keep fit. After three weeks of training, Kajora has reportedly lost 0.02 kgs (the best news for Kajora this summer) while Clay has reportedly developed “2 packs” as he works to fix the other four! In fact, Clay’s excursions in Brazil to watch the World Cup brought a lot of new strategies in the Wazee’s camp which the Turks will have to contend with.
The three key strikers namely Ofore, Joseph Goga and Steve Shabir are the men to tame if the Turks do not want to be Braziled. This is because Ofore and Steve have an inexplicable and unmatched ability to coordinate both in the battle field and off-shore. With the surreptitious and quick thinking Goga linking them up, the Turks manning the backline will have a daunting task, not just in stopping the coordination of thetrio but also in understanding how the combination actually works. In short, these wazees are agile, swift and unstoppable although it remains to be seen whether the many years ya kulea watoi, ugali, nyama choma na mashugli have eroded their speed. You will have to be in the field to be able to judge.
Talent from Märsta United
That brings us to the two goal-getters who will be expected by the wazee fraternity to deliver that ka punch called victory. Charles Otieno Owiyo aka Otie of Märsta United Amigos Pacheko Dala Pacho International Club in combination with Mzee William of Balozi Champions Kuteklezia Football Club are two dazzling veterans who might as well turn out to be the stars of the day. Whether or not any balls will pass through the Turk’s goalie depends on the two. Otie is very abrasive and, over the years, he has mastered the art of breaking through defences with ease. On the other hand, William has two qualities which will, no doubt waste the vijanas vibaya sana.
That is, Mzee William can jump 10 meters into the air while he has what the experts call “staying power”. The catch is that any ball flying 10 meters in the air around the goal area is a potential score and this includes all corners, loops and overheads. You really need to be there to testify to this. When he jumps, I guess the Turks will only have to stand there with their heads pointing the sky as they wait to see the effect which might be a score.
Secondly, William never gets tied and some Kenyans have postulated that he might have been running a lot of marathon in them days as a young Turk. The Turks should have been practicing round the clock to match his stamina otherwise they will be outflanked. Needless to say, there will be Makozewe who will be playing at the touch lines, recording every detail of the match.
As the curtains of summer closes down slowly with visible changes in the weather, the Wazee wa Kazi-Vijana football match will constitute the ultimate Kenyan evening of the year. Come with your drinks, choma and other edibles. You will be responsible for your own stomach! KSB has a tip that samosas will be up and selling at affordable prices and with so many 2014 Nyama chomazz already history, it could probably be time to come to a closure with this necessary event pitting the tumbo kubwas on one side and six packs on the other. It is a typical wait and see game!
August 14, 2014
Place: Lilla Wien "Little Nairobi"
Add: Swedenborgsg. 20
Pendel: Södra Station
New CD Shujaa Mamadou Ndala
Buy it at iTunes, Amazon, Qobuz and Spotify
August 10, 2014
Hot From The Studio
August 6, 2014
As many relatives, friends and Comrades have aptly said, the death of Dr. Adhu Awiti, former MP for Karachuonyo, was not just devastating from the point of view of the huge void that Adhu’s departure has left behind. The death of this illustrious son of Kenya has also left a formidable challenge among Left-leaning Kenyan thinkers, political activists, fellow travelers and an assortment of Kenyan revolutionaries, active and retired.
Every time Dr. Adhu traversed the wilderness of Stockholm, he ensured that he touched base, not just to interact with the Onyangos, Wambuis, Ndambukis and the Kiplagats of Stockholm but also to avail himself for interrogation especially on core issues touching on the on-going struggle for liberation in Kenya. Adhu even accepted off-forum discussions and invited a coterie of Kenyan progressives in Stockholm to his abode in Nacka for an exploratory ideological analysis of Kenyan politics, past, present and future.
During these discussions, a dominant theme that is worth incorporating in Kenya’s political discourse following Dr. Adhu’s demise is the fate of ideological politics in Kenya and the challenges facing the Kenyan Left following theft of power by two suspected war criminals through election rigging. The situation is even more complicated because of the sudden conglomeration of latter day political opportunists of capitalist orientation within the opposition and the successful posture of imposters and other vultures of reaction as the “champions of the people”.
Although, from an ideological standpoint, there is no opposition to the rotten capitalist Jubilee political gangsters who took over State power, a significant section of the Kenyan masses has been convinced (through hysteria and political demagoguery) that an opposition does exist. The dilemma Adhu’s departure has left behind is that despite his illustrious political career that saw him detained under the former KANU/Moi dictatorship, and despite Adhu’s commitment to the establishment of a socialist Kenya under a democratic workers’ state, the last discussions with him tended to paint a pessimistic future in relation to any immediate intervention by the Left in Kenya.
Adhu’s view was that a new generation of radical Kenyan Leftists will have to emerge to continue with the ideological struggle because the known Left wing Generals had either been absorbed into the capitalist political mainstream, retreated into NGOs, went into political retirement, suffered ideological lethargy, kicked the bucket under different circumstances or betrayed the struggle and started working with the enemy.
In summary, Adhu’s candid view was that the “Mwakenya generation” had basically laid down the tools, either to live quiet lives or to dance with the thieving class of wealth grabbers that they spent the better part of their youthful lives fighting. Despite his pessimism in relation to any possible on-the-ground development of a Left wing movement or Party that could openly challenge the distorted brand of capitalism in Kenya, Adhu was very philosophical about why the Kenyan Left waned soon after the establishment of political pluralism in Kenya in the early 1990s.
The main obstacles against ideological opposition
From the discussions (which sometimes veered towards questioning his position as a former MP under a capitalist and opportunistic party) three key issues stood on the way to the construction of a socialist Movement or Party that could offer a political alternative to capitalism in Kenya. These obstacles, and the circumstances that created them, constitute the fundamental ideological challenges that Adhu’s demise has left behind especially among Kenyans who believe in the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with a socialist political system of government as the basis of wealth distribution.
The first problem was that following the establishment of a multi-party state in Kenya on July 7th 1990 (aka Saba Saba), Mwakenya, a clandestine Movement whose members are credited with having led the struggle against the one party dictatorship, was nowhere to be seen. At its critical hour, Mwakenya failed to surface from the underground where it had been suppressed (for years by Moi) to transform itself into a formidable political party that could openly challenge KANU and provide a left oriented ideological direction to the masses of the people in the new multi-party dispensation.
Consequently, a plethora of opportunistic political formations crystalized to occupy the opposition space and to fill the gaping void that was created by Mwakenya’s absence from action. Here, political formations like FORD, FORD-Kenya, Ford-People, Ford Asili, Kibaki’s Democratic Party, Mukaru Nganga’s KENDA, George Anyona’s Kenya National Congress and a rag tag of later creations quickly crept on to the scene to take strategic positions within the new opposition as Mwakenya basically disappeared into oblivion.
Known members of Mwakenya whose names continue to dominate the Mwakenya history, political detainees, former political prisoners and other firebrands either remained in their spider holes, continued to propagandize from exile or joined the emergent and mainstream opposition crickets whose pathognomonic feature was ideological bankruptcy. When the dust settled and the first multi-party election was called in December 1992, KANU ended up with no real ideological opposition while millions of Kenyans who viewed Mwakenya as a serious revolutionary force that could play a huge role in Kenya’s political transformation were disappointed when Mwakenya failed to show up in the political market place. What happened? This brings us to the second problem.
Critical failures of Mwakenya
Majority of Mwakenya members and activists both at home and in exile failed to surface to lead the struggle because the revert of Kenya to a multi-party state happened so quickly that the Movement was taken by surprise. That is, the Movement had not prepared politically for a situation where it would operate under an open multi-party system. The critical failure of top Mwakenya ideologues to fore-see the abrupt revert by Moi to a multi-party system deprived the leadership of the ability to prepare, organize and transform Mwakenya from a virulent underground propaganda group to a viable political party that could compete with other emergent parties in the struggle for power. The situation became even more pathetic when known Mwakenya members started setting up ideologically bankrupt parties, a situation which tended to confuse Mwakenya followers who were expecting a socialist formation to give ideological direction in the struggle to vanquish capitalism. The disorientation of Mwakenya members and the lack of direction was, however, understandable. Why?
The Stalinist regime in the former Soviet Union had just collapsed and this development had a debilitating psychological effect on many Mwakenya leaders and followers who believed that the autocratic and dictatorial Stalinist regime that was running a deformed Workers’ State in the former USSR was Socialist. The problem was that although Mwakenya was basically a Left-leaning Movement (from the point of view of its propaganda material), the leaders appeared not to have studied the various Left wing global tendencies that existed at that time to be able to differentiate between the various brands of socialism in the USSR, Cuba, China, North Korea, Vietnam and Eastern Europe.
Although the impending collapse of the USSR was constantly being predicted by other Left wing tendencies (especially the Trotskyists), the USSR remained the perfect representation of socialism in the eyes of Mwakenya leadership and when it collapsed, the leadership was sent into a downward psychological spiral. The lack of understanding of political events in the former USSR and the subsequent collapse of Stalinist states in Eastern Europe sent top Mwakenya gurus into serious ideological re-thinking, giving them no time to regroup after Saba Saba as opportunists took over the opposition. During closed door discussions, these are issues that appeared to have been well understood by the late Adhu Awiti.
Why Mwakenya Failed to regroup after Saba Saba
While the theoretical background of the collapse of the former Soviet Union could be complex and beyond the scope of this contribution, it would suffice to say that the Mwakenya leadership found itself entrenched in uncertainty after Saba Saba. The collapse of the USSR was a major set-back to the international working class Movement and the failure by Mwakenya leadership to understand the dynamics of the collapse led to a lack of explanation of what had happened.
In the ensuing psychological uncertainty, it was impossible for the leadership to re-constitute itself to deal with the multi-party surprise especially in the face of massive international propaganda in the capitalist world that “socialism had fallen”. Another problem was that Mwakenya leadership was mainly based in exile and when the leadership failed to show up in Kenya, local members became demoralized before resignation took over as multi-party euphoria seeped into the consciousness of millions of Kenyans who viewed this development as the solution to the political, economic and social crisis that faced Kenya. In the absence of Mwakenya, the new opposition politicians clothed in opportunism (the Matibas who had worked with Moi for years) became the new heroes as the real heroes retreated to their dungeons.
From the point of view of Dr. Adhu, what can be celebrated since Saba Saba is progress in the National Democratic Revolution – a revolution for political and democratic rights that never existed during the days of Mwakenya. While progress in the national democratic revolution has moved the struggle forward, it alone cannot resolve the bread and butter issues. The key ideological challenge for those who want to change Kenya is not to support ethnic alliances for the simple sake of removing one capitalist ruling class and replacing it with another. The big challenge is in setting up a political alternative that can clearly show the way out of the current political, economic and social crisis in Kenya.
Although Dr. Adhu is gone, he has left behind a big challenge of picking up the pieces from where Mwakenya left and building a socialist party that can lead workers to power. There is no short-cut to wealth re-distribution apart from the abolition of the outdated profit system and replacing it with a socialist system that can guarantee ugali on the table for every Kenyan, medical care for all Kenyans, free education at all levels, eradication of poverty and the right to self-determination of Kenya as a Nation. Kenyans can honour Adhu Awiti by continuing in his quest for a just, democratic and socialist Kenya where all Kenyans can live together as equal human beings.
Kenya Red Alliance (KRA)
August 5, 2014
The crisis in South Sudan was avoidable and a self-inflicted disaster created by the political and military leadership of that country. There is no excuse or justification for the war that started on 13 December 2013. Most scholars, researchers and experts on South Sudan generally agree that the underpinning causes of the armed conflict in that country include weak governance, poor leadership, weak institutions, and conflation of personal, ethnic and national interests, including unchecked corruption, particularly at the leadership level. The civilian population, unfortunately, is left to fend for themselves with no functional schools, hospitals or public utilities.
However, the immediate cause of the armed conflict is believed to be President Salva Kiir’s irresponsible political decisions to sack his deputy, Dr Riek Machar, several cabinet ministers and other senior government and ruling party Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) officials, including Mr Pagan Amum, the party Secretary-General. These political disagreements between top SPLM leadership very rapidly transformed into an ethnic conflict, a conflict between the Dinkas and the Nuers, each allied to their respective sub-ethnic groups. This ethnic division was replicated in the army, government and all public institutions. Soon after the armed conflict commenced in December 2013, the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) unilaterally entered Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and took a side in the internal armed conflict by supporting President Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, against the sacked Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer.
The response of the African Union (AU) to the now political-cum-ethnic conflict between the Dinkas, the Nuers and their respective allies was slow in containing the violence at an early stage, deploying a neutral force to protect the civilian population, and failed to follow examples of the UN Humanitarian organizations in providing protection to civilians most vulnerable, particularly women and children. Later, indeed much later, the AU appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the carnage unfolding in South Sudan (the Commission). As far as many AU analysts are concerned, the slow process adopted by the AU in the appointment of the Commission was an afterthought.
The Commission, chaired by Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria (the other members were Prof Mahmood Mamdani, Justice Sophia AB Akuffo, Ms Bineta Diop and Prof Pacifique Manirakiza), had the mandate to investigate human rights violations and other abuses committed during armed conflict in South Sudan and to make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities.
To be fair to the Obasanjo Commission, its mandate is a tall order and was unlikely, in any event, to be concluded within the limited three-month period allotted to conclude investigations and submit its report to the AU, particularly as the Commission appears to have an open-ended mandate. Its temporal jurisdiction runs from 15 December 2013.
The Obasanjo Commission submitted its Interim Report to the AU at its 23rd Ordinary Session held on 26-27 June 2014 at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. And, as expected, the Commission also requested for extension of time to finalize the report (Assembly/AU/19(XXIII)).
The Interim Report, as acknowledged by the Obasanjo Commission, is inconclusive and makes no specific recommendation save to request for extension of time for the purpose of writing a final report. The Commission sees its challenge in implementing its mandate as the exploration of relationship between reconciliation, truth, justice and healing. The Interim Report appears to relegate the issue of criminal accountability to the bottom of its priority list. In its work, the Commission adopted an expansive understanding of the concept of accountability and defined it as encompassing four aspects: criminal accountability, civil accountability (reparation), administrative accountability (lustration) and truth telling. Along the way, the principal objective of the Commission to seek justice—as well as to protect the civilians in an ongoing conflict, recommend for a functional ceasefire, impose sanctions on parties that are in breach of the ceasefire and name individuals responsible for violations of international humanitarian law—got lost in the process. The Obasanjo Commission spent an inordinate period of time travelling to neighbouring countries and interviewing some leaders who, for all practical purposes, are accomplices to crimes that have been or are still being committed in South Sudan. It is surprising that the entire Interim Report has just two paragraphs on accountability (para.84 and 85), comprising 13 lines in the 26-page report.
According to the Interim Report, the Obasanjo Commission recognizes that there is credible evidence of widespread and systematic attacks against the South Sudanese civilian population, rape and sexual attacks on women and girls and widespread destruction of public utilities, infrastructure, public and private buildings, particularly in Malakal, Bentiu and Bor. The Commission also confirmed the discovery of mass graves and interviewed witnesses to the commission about the crimes, including crimes of sexual and gender-based violence. These acts, as identified by the Obasanjo Commission, constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law and are also violations of Common Article 3 of the four 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocol II of 1977. At this stage, the Interim Report ought to have made specific recommendations on how to address these violations of the laws of war and whether to investigate the perpetrators with an objective to prosecute them.
However, the Commission made no recommendations on what to do with the perpetrators of the crimes. The purported reason as articulated by the Commission is that it was: ‘still in the process of collecting information and investigating various allegations of human rights violations and violations of humanitarian law’. It then concluded that it was ‘not yet in a position to pronounce itself definitively on whether some of these acts [mass murders and sexual attacks] amount to international crimes…’ This conclusion contradicts the Commission’s findings, especially when there is credible evidence of the discovery of mass graves, widespread and systematic attacks including rape and sexual violence and destruction of infrastructure and of public and private property.
I submit that the Commission’s mandate is not to make a legal conclusion on whether serious international crimes were committed, or to identify all possible perpetrators before submitting a final report but rather, to report its findings and recommendations to the AU. It is for the AU to determine whether violations of international humanitarian law occurred by appointing a body of investigators and experts in the field to conduct further investigations and report their findings and recommendations to the AU for further actions.
The Obasanjo commission’s call to the warring factions to respect international humanitarian law without indicating any specific threat of sanctions is not a novel idea. It is, in fact, a standard practice to urge all parties to a conflict to cease violations of humanitarian law and to draw their attention to the fact that responsibility will attach to such actions. It is also common practice to urge individuals in positions of authority or command to take all measures to ensure that those under their command do not engage in violation of humanitarian law. What the Commission did, in urging the combatants to respect the law was, to that extent, not new. Urging combatants to respect rules of engagement is good practice. However, experience suggests that combatants often act when there is a credible threat of sanctions and criminal prosecution. Combatants do not respond to abstract threats.
To underscore the point, when the Commission obtained credible evidence that atrocity crimes were committed, it ought to have recommended to the AU that it appoint expert investigators to investigate alleged crimes with a view to prosecuting the perpetrators.
On healing and reconciliation, the Commission correctly noted that the war of liberation, the multiple conflicts that accompanied it, as well as the subsequent conflicts, have wrecked relations among South Sudanese communities. These factors underpinned the Commission’s conclusion of there being an urgent need to institute genuine national efforts at reconciliation to facilitate healing.
However, instead of making specific recommendations to address these acts of mischief, the Commission laments that ‘once it has engaged further with grassroots communities, and drawing on successful past experiences, [will] make comprehensive recommendations on reconciliation and healing’. There appears to be no sense of urgency on the part of the Commission, considering that various NGOs and UN humanitarian organizations have publicly expressed their concerns about the dire humanitarian situation in the country.
On the question of foreign troops, the Commission ‘[urged] an end to any form of military support to the belligerents that fuel and encourage hardening of positions and continuation of hostilities’. This vague statement alludes to the presence of the UPDF in South Sudan. The UPDF has taken a side in the conflict. Not being neutral, the UPDF has been asked by the international community, including the United Nations and the SPLM in Opposition, to withdraw. The Ugandan government has ignored those requests.
The bias of Uganda in favour of President Kiir’s SPLM faction is demonstrated by President Museveni’s lone presence at the 3rd Independence Day anniversary celebration of the Republic of South Sudan. All of the other leaders of IGAD, currently mediating the peace process between the two warring factions of the SPLM, though invited, declined to attend. On his part, President Museveni, when addressing the crowd in Juba, announced that Uganda lost ‘less than 10 soldiers’ but managed to destroy the rebels. This says a lot about Uganda’s neutrality.
The other armed force in South Sudan is the Ethiopian People’s Defence Force (EPDF). However, EPDF, to its credit, is in the country under the auspices of the IGAD.
The Commission made no findings or recommendations on the unilateral deployment of UPDF in South Sudan and on its refusal to withdraw. The Commission’s silence is significant since presence of the UPDF in the country is one of the reasons cited by SPLM in Opposition for the continuation of the armed conflict.
The Obasanjo Commission also made no recommendations on violations of ceasefire agreements. There have been two ceasefire agreements. The first was signed by the warring parties on 23 January 2014. It was largely ignored by both parties. The second was signed on 9 May 2014. The protagonists have not complied with the ceasefire and the many breaches are routinely recorded by the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mission. The Obasanjo Commission, however, ‘welcomed the March 2014 decision of the IGAD Head of States to deploy a regional force…’ but did not expressly condemn the presence of foreign troops in South Sudan or the combatants’ failure to respect ceasefire agreements. Yet, the Commission, in calling for deployment of a regional force, must also be aware of IGAD’s financial constraints. In all its activities, but for donor funding, IGAD often does not meet its financial obligations. Waiting for foreign donors to fund IGAD’s regional force is not one of the best strategies for the AU or South Sudan to protect the civilian population in South Sudan during the present crisis.
Finally, there is the problem of the applicable law to regulate the armed conflict. South Sudan is yet to ratify any of the major international instruments, whether regional or international, that regulate the conduct of armed conflict. As a matter of international treaty law, instruments not ratified by a state-party do not constitute sources of binding obligation for South Sudan, save laws that are already part of customary international law such as the four 1949 Geneva Conventions and its Additional Protocol II of 1977. It would have been helpful for the Interim Report to make some form of recommendation on this point.
Overall, the Obasanjo Commission could do more and could do better to assist the AU in speedily bringing this conflict to realistic conclusion by putting in place structures that protect and defend the people of South Sudan from a political leadership that has gone rogue. The present Interim Report is too vague to provide a useful guide and falls short of expectation.
* Dr Obote-Odora is a Consultant in International Criminal Law and Policy.
First Published at Pambazuka here
August 2, 2014
When the biggest tree of the village falls, birds scatter and creatures that were enjoying its shade scamper for safety. So it was on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, when Adhu Awiti transited to be with his ancestors. How mind-numbing and distasteful is the hour when we can no longer see, listen to and converse with him! The hero for countless has fallen. And as Mark Anthony said of Julius Caesar, “Oh what a mighty fall thou was!”
Dr. Awiti was many things to many people. His wife has lost a loving husband and a life companion. His children have lost a father, a provider and a compass in life. Kanjira and Karachuonyo have lost a great son, a community role model and leader. But to me and hundreds of others that worked overtly and covertly with him, Adhu was a father, mentor, confidante, best friend and symbol of revolutionary disposition. He was a true comrade of mine.
Adhu enlisted discipline, patience and simplicity as natural allies and strategic thinking and tactical analysis as weapons of political struggle. He wore one the thickest skins, always appreciative of criticism and self-criticism, which he viewed as routes to individual self-correction and enrichment. He was a man of cheerful demeanor.
I first met Adhu in December 1980, when I had just joined the University of Nairobi. We had a student re-union in Kisumu and he was a keynote speaker. I was struck by his brilliance and eloquence. In that memorable speech, he reminded the students about their responsibility to the historic national struggle and the need to remain uncompromising.
Dr. Awiti told us that the quest for social justice, academic freedom, political plurality and democracy must remain our eternal battle cry. He noted that the political freedom was the fruit of the revolutionary tree watered by the blood of veterans like Dedan Kimathi, Pio Gama Pinto and Me Katilili as well as the unrelenting sweat and intellect of nationalists like Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Bildad Kaggia. He beseeched us to defend it. I did not meet him again until April 1987, when I had the dubious honour of welcoming him at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. I was a year older there on Sedition sentence.
From this point on, we forged a comradely relationship that has lasted to this day. Even though we were held in Segregation Block, we managed to establish a study circle at Kamiti. Members of this circle included Odindo Opiata, Kiongo Maina , Kamonye Manje, Dr. Odhiambo Olel, Peter Young Kihara, Onyango Oloo and Owuor Atieno, among others. We spent prison time together reviewing our history and struggles; focusing on future revolutionary work. He was later transferred to Nyeri’s King’ong’o Prison where he joined Odenda Lumumba, Onyango CA and others.
On release from Moi’s jail, we regrouped to continue with the struggle. He became the fulcrum of our cell in Kisumu comprising among others Muga K’olale, Onyango CA and Olel. Following the disruption of this cell after the Sabasaba uprising in 1990, Adhu and I fled the country. We reunited in exile and continued to link up with the movement back home and intensify the agitation for return of multiparty democracy. As Moi remained recalcitrant, we were able to secure facility to train a Platoon in guerilla warfare, thanks to Adhu’s extensive international connections. Section 2A was repealed just when the recruits were finalizing their training. These cadres were quietly reintegrated and became active in the opposition.
The sheer tenacity of will Adhu commanded; the tactful and unmatched leadership he proffered; the sobering but penetrating tactical analysis, which was his gift; and the unparalleled generosity of spirit he exuded are virtues that belong to the greatest of ages. Kamoji Wachiira, Adhu’s revolutionary peer, says: “A remarkable comrade has passed on. In the early days we spent many seemingly endless weekend nights working away. Planning, reviewing and summarizing positions and strategies in varied hide-outs and strange dives, ever seeking security and anonymity. Strange hours tough schedule: Arrive on Coast Bus at 7pm. I pick him up at River Road depot. Then “unslept” drop him back at 4.30 am for departure westward. I recall one such night we also had to pick up a Museveni ‘sibling’ coming for Adhu to help get to Malaba. Most of these Museveni siblings were actually cadres not relatives as such. … Disciplined to a fault. A rare gentleman comrade, selfless and devoted always. One of the keenest, most honest intellectual minds we have had in the struggle.”
He evidenced these political skills on the national scene, being a founding member of the underground Workers Party of Kenya – the parent organization of, among others, the December Twelfth Movement – so central in spearheading progressive political change since early 1970’s. Dr. Awiti suffused his service in government with his beliefs about the principles of public service. As Planning Minister, he believed that government should be frugal, effective, and efficient and must be a rallying point where only the committed and selfless serve as leaders at all levels of our society. Before this he teamed with, among others, Prof. Edward Oyugi to found the Social Development network (SODNET) that has been at the forefront of anti-corruption and budget transparency campaign.
Much remains undone, of course, but Adhu leaves us a good legacy and a solid model to emulate. Fare thee well Omin Angela!
By Oduor Ong’wen
July 30, 2014
A Driving License belonging to a Kenyan national resident in Sweden has been recovered in Kisumu, Kenya. The Driving License belongs to Steven Ochieng Nyibule who lives in Ölsremma in Västra Götland. The License is currently at Pel Travel Ltd along Oginga Odinga Street, Kisumu city and Mr. Ochieng is advised to pick it up during working hours. A good Samaritan picked it up and alerted KSB about the loss. Anybody who knows Mr. Ochieng and who may come across this message can advise him to pick up his DL at the mentioned location.