April 18, 2014
Swedish Palms Presents:
Dekula Band “Ngoma Ya Kilo”
Place: Södra Teatern, Etablissemanget.
Addr: Mosebacke Torg 1, T-bana Slussen.
New Cd is coming soon!
April 17, 2014
Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta made world history by being the first holder of the title to participate in the London Marathon 2014, and finished the race after 7 hours 4 minutes. Her purpose was to raise awareness and funds to improve maternal and child healthcare in Kenya through her ‘Beyond Zero Campaign’ initiative which was recently heavily criticized at the Kenya Stockholm Blog for wasting public resources. (See: http://kenyastockholm.com/2014/04/13/kenyas-first-ladys-beyond-zero-campaign-is-a-cheap-publicity-stunt/)
The London Marathon began in 1981 and has since taken place in the spring of each year. “As a fundraising event, there is no race in the world that comes close to the London Marathon. An iconic image of the event is the thousands of runners traipsing the streets to raise money for charity, many in fancy dress, hoping to stand out as a rhino, football mascot, giant tree, or escaped convict. More than three quarters of competitors now run for a good cause and a third of all entry places are offered by charitable organisations.
The role of charities in the London Marathon hasn’t always been as prominent as it is today. In the early years, it was the runners who took it upon themselves to raise sponsorship money for their causes. In 1984, the London Marathon named its first ‘official charity’ and granted the Sports Aid Foundation some entry places to help their fundraising. The London Marathon has had one or two official charities every year since.
As charity involvement grew, the organisers decided to offer more places to a wider range of charities. In 1993, they introduced the Golden Bond scheme to enable charities to gain places. Under this scheme, hundreds of charities buy guaranteed entries for £300 each, which they then offer to the runners who’ve missed out on a ballot place. Runners who take one of these places commit to raise a four figure sum for their cause, often called a ‘pledge’.
Over the last 15 years, this scheme has grown and now includes more than 750 British charities with a total of 15,000 guaranteed places. Another 550 charities are involved in a Silver Bond scheme which guarantees one entry place every five years. The growth of charity involvement in the London Marathon has been so great the race has entered the record books. In 2007, £46.5 million was raised for good causes by runners, making the London Marathon a Guinness world record breaker as the largest single annual fundraising event in the world. In 2008, that record was broken again when £46.7 million was raised. In total, it is estimated that more than £500 million has been raised for hundreds of charitable causes by London Marathon runners since 1981.” (See: http://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/marathon-centre/history-london-marathon/charity-history/).
No Fund raising functions after First Lady’s race in London
Since 2010, Virgin Money has been the official sponsor of the London Marathon, thus the name “Virgin Money London Marathon”. Its success in fundraising came with the online non-profit launch of “Virgin Money Giving” which assures donors and fundraisers that their money goes to the cause they are passionate about.
A thorough search on the website http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/ gives no hit for ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign. One needs to register a charity here to get sponsorship. Moreover, charities participating in the London Marathon are based in the United Kingdom, although there is an international section on the Virgin Money Giving website. For instance, BBC HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur, raced for the charity “Just a Drop” which is an international water-aid charity registered in the UK, aiming to provide poor communities in the developing world with clean water. Sackur runs a page on the website ‘justgiving’: https://www.justgiving.com/Stephen-Sackur which had received £3,435.76 by April 14th from 62 donors.
Why then, did the First Lady choose to participate in the London Marathon? According to information on the Beyond Zero website: http://beyondzero.or.ke/get-involved/2014-london-marathon “To highlight the HIV, Maternal and Child Health challenges facing disadvantaged women and children in Kenya, the First Lady will participate in the 2014 London Marathon. H.E the First Lady seeks to leverage on the global platform provided by the 2014 London Marathon to raise visibility of the issues and, mobilize resources to accelerate access to services.”
Apart from giving a speech in London during a reception by the Standard Chartered Group which donated to her cause, there were no other functions hosted for ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign. The First Lady could have raised more awareness by participating in TV discussions in London if she was serious about the plight of Kenyan mothers and children. However, she also celebrated her 50th birthday by hosting a private cocktail at the posh Chelsea Harbour Hotel in London, attended by her team and some family members, including her mother in-law, former First Lady Mama Ngina.
Could the current First Lady not have begun by visiting all the 47 counties to talk and urge private and public stakeholders to sponsor Beyond Zero without wasting taxpayers’ money in London? Even if her goal is to raise Ksh500 million, how will she solve the growing scarcity of midwives, gynaecologists, doctors and other professionals, urgently required to improve maternal-child healthcare? Last year, Kenyans donated KSh 142 million plus change in 10 days, to support those affected by the Westgate terrorist attack. Nobody wasted taxpayers’ money abroad to run a marathon for the purpose.
April 13, 2014
On January 24, 2014 Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta launched the ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign which will provide prenatal and postnatal medical treatment to women and children in Kenya. On March 9, 2014 she participated in the Nairobi international half marathon (21 kilometers) to raise awareness and mobilize resources to fund pre-natal and post-natal access. Around Ksh100 million was raised. She is also participating in the London Marathon on April 13, 2014. However, does it require the First Lady to run marathons to support maternal and child healthcare in Kenya? Parallels can be drawn from the failed activities of former First Lady Lucy Kibaki soon after her husband came to power.
After she settled in State House, Lucy was concerned with disabled persons and was also a chairperson of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/Aids (OAFLA). However, in 2006, she commented that: “Those who are still in school have no business having access to condoms. Those who are in university and are not married have no business having condoms in their halls of residence.” Her position contradicted Government policy which promotes the use of condoms. Being a follower of the Catholic faith, she could have been influenced by the Vatican’s then-stand on condom use. It was irresponsible for Mrs. Kibaki to utter such words because it is scientifically proven that condoms protect users against many sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, Kenyan youths are known to be sexually active from the age of twelve and abstinence is not an option for the majority. Unfortunately, there is nothing memorable about Mrs. Kibaki’s fight against HIV/Aids in Kenya.
OAFLA was established in 2002 “as a collective voice for Africa’s most vulnerable people, women and children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic” (www.oafla.org). Further information indicates that it has transformed from a “forum of ideas to an institution capable of providing the continent-wide leadership needed to bring about change in peoples’ lives.” But there is no clear visibility of OAFLA, since most African First Ladies are better known for corruption and other scandals, more than improving the wellbeing of women and children. In this respect, both Lucy and Margaret are no exception. For instance in Cameroon, First Lady Chantal Biya “is famous for her hairstyles. Her signature style is called the banane, and is used for formal occasions. Biya has popularised other styles; collectively, they are known as the Chantal Biya. She is also known because of her exotic wardrobe. Some of her favourite designers include high-end Western labels such as Chanel or Dior.” (See wikipedia.org).
Mrs. Biya’s husband, President Paul Biya, has been in power since 1982 and is said to be worth around $200-$300 million, mostly invested in mansions within Europe. “The U.S. imported $544 million worth of crude and fuel oil from Cameroon in 2008 and exported $59 million worth of drilling and oilfield equipment but still the citizens don’t see all this profit.” (See therichest.com). In 2009, President Biya was widely criticized by a French online newspaper for renting a villa in France for €30,000 per day during a vacation in France, yet his country is one of the poorest in the world with 48% of its population living below the poverty line ($2,257 GDP per capita in 2011).
Beyond Zero Campaign is below par
According to unaids.org, the Beyond Zero campaign is “part of the initiatives outlined in the Strategic Framework for the engagement of the First Lady in HIV control and promotion of maternal, newborn and child health in Kenya that was unveiled on World AIDS Day 2013. The framework aims to galvanize high-level leadership in ending new HIV infections among children and reducing HIV related deaths among women and children in Kenya.” But the worst preventable killer diseases among children in Kenya are diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia. At the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, statistics show five deaths per week resulting from the three diseases.
Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta’s initiative may just be another sideshow to put a ‘human face’ to the incompetent Jubilee government which has high dreams with zero delivery. When her husband President Uhuru Kenyatta announced free public maternity care for all women as part of his 2013 election promise, it was expected that clear policy guidelines would be drawn to ensure its smooth implementation. However, almost a year later, there are not enough skilled professionals and adequate equipment to control maternal-child mortality. A UNICEF report released in September 2013 indicated that “in Kenya, 73 children out of 1,000 births die before age five.” (See Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed).
#sickat50 was a trending hashtag on Twitter during Kenya’s 50th Independence anniversary in December 2013 by the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) that tweeted: “We will witness the worst migration of doctors out of public service and out of Kenya. It will only be comparable to the doctor migration of the 1980s.” By March 2014, there were 18 public hospital doctors resigning per month in various counties. Dr. Wambui Waithaka who is co-founder and the National Treasurer of KMPDU wrote that: “Today’s resignations have the following reasons attached to them: “mismanagement of the devolved health functions by the county governments with missed salaries, reduced salaries (caused by omission of certain allowances that make up the doctor’s salary), frozen promotions of those due for promotion and delayed salaries that delay standing obligations such as rent and other bills). Frustrations on tribal lines with some county teams blatantly discriminating doctors on ethnic grounds and poor morale. Doctors are loosely advised by members of the county government to migrate to counties where their tribesmen can be found in larger numbers.” (In http://www.wambuiwaithaka.com).
President Uhuru Kenyatta is already in London with his entourage of Jubilee sycophants to cheer the First Lady during the marathon. This is at the expense of Kenyan taxpayers, yet the health sector is on its knees. The cost of his trip and that of his wife and her team reflects the Jubilee government’s continuous wastage of public resources. Mrs. Kenyatta does not need to run marathon races to buy mobile clinics for the 47 counties to improve maternal-child healthcare. The awareness is already there and money is available, yet as long as corruption is not uprooted, her initiative will fail. Fifty years after attaining independence, the doctor-patient ratio in Kenya is still 1:18000 against the World Health Organization’s recommended ratio of 1:1000. The Jubilee Government should monitor the devolved healthcare programs at the county levels to ensure efficiency. Further, there are so many governmental efforts and international initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals that need to be streamlined instead of creating new ones.
Here is the list of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s carers in London sponsored by taxpayers. It is notable that except for one person, they are mainly from her Kikuyu tribe: Mrs. Gakonyo – personal assistant; Mr. Robin Nyambu- Chef; Mr. Edwin Ndegwa – waiting staff; Mrs. Rose Wachira – waiting staff; Mr. Odin Ondari – waiting staff; Mr. Maina Kigaga – Head of media; Mr. Peter Kimotho – Head of security team and the medical team of Dr. Amos Ndiritu- medical team; Dr. Gichunuku Gikundi – Medical team; Mr. Paul Mabuka – Paramedic physiotherapist; Mr. Kariuki – Physiotherapist. (In the Daily Nation).
Apart from this entourage being funded by the tax payer, Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in London together with his own entourage comprising of sycophants, sidekicks, lapdogs, bootlickers, parasites, security detail and an assortment of idlers who follow the President everywhere. At a time when more than 10 million Kenyans are faced with starvation; doctors are resigning from government hospitals due to poor pay and lack of medical equipment; millions of children are dying out of treatable diseases and the Jubilee government failing on each and every election pledge, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s trip to London in the name of marathon is a big waste of both public resources and valuable time that could have been used in building the Nation.
Seriously, Kenyans ought to see through the cheap antics of the First Lady whose London trip is wasting the very funds she claims, she is trying to raise. Instead of seeking cheap publicity by exploiting the enormous suffering of millions of poor Kenyans as a result of a collapsed health care system and decayed infrastructure in the health sector, the First Lady should be advising her husband on ways of curbing corruption in government because then, she wouldn’t need to go around town running in fake marathons.
Succinctly put, the First Lady’s marathon project is nothing but a cheap publicity stunt to try and give the callous Jubilee government a human face. The “Beyond Zero” campaign is totally below par, does not cut and has nothing to do with improvement of health care in Kenya. On the contrary, it has more to do with the notorious culture of overt deception and hoodwinking of the poor by Kenya’s corrupt and rotten ruling class represented by the President, the First Lady and Company. Kenyans must wake up and see through this deception.
April 12, 2014
Shocking Audio Featuring TNA’s Moses Kuria and Uhuruto’s Apologist David Matsanga Bragging About Killing Blogger Robert Alai
Jubilee’s Mafia Boys Passing Time With Assassination Talk of Political Opponents
April 12, 2014
The Kenyan government has credited its Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) with providing a robust counterterrorism response, thwarting dozens of terrorist plots, and arresting or killing dozens of terrorist suspects.
But, in carrying out its work, the ATPU has committed a wide array of human rights abuses that violate international, regional, and domestic law.
This report is based on over 40 interviews carried out by researchers from the Open Society Justice Initiative and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) a non-governmental organization based in Mombasa, Kenya.
It includes credible allegations of extrajudicial killings, beatings of terrorist suspects, arbitrary detention, renditions, and the disappearance of at least one man by the ATPU. The report traces ATPU abuses from 2007 to the present and demonstrates that the ATPU’s abuses are counterproductive to combatting terrorism and destroy the trust between communities and Kenya’s security forces.
At a time when Kenya is undertaking sweeping reforms to limit the police’s excessive powers, the ATPU must receive greater scrutiny and oversight. ATPU officials must be held accountable for their human rights abuses, and victims must receive reparations. In addition, the new police reforms must be urgently implemented. Finally it is important that foreign security assistance does not help to fund security forces such as the ATPU that commit human rights abuses.
April 10, 2014
I have been silent, watching slanders from Göran who has been tarnishing my name and even making accusations against me but the truth shall always prevail. No one knows the truth about our collapsed relationship more than me and the Kenyan Embassy which has been investigating this matter.
I, Margaret Maragwa, reported constant abuse against me to the Swedish police. I told police that Mr. Göran Skog, a Swedish citizen, once beat me, almost to death while I was pregnant. I ended up being admitted to hospital in critical condition and later taken to a women’s shelter.
This is not a fabrication and I can substantiate everything I am saying to anybody at any time. After beating me and leaving me for dead, Mr. Skog later organized with social workers to grab my sweet baby from me. Currently, I don’t know the whereabouts of my baby. He is the only one now allowed to pay visits to the baby.
I have, on several occasions, raised serious concerns about the well-being of my child but all the time, what I get is torture, humiliation, discrimination and racism. Göran is well known to the Social authorities in Hörby as a drunkard, child abuser and woman molester but they still leave him to see the baby because he is white. Instead of helping me, the social authorities are covering him up while keeping me away because they want to deport me to Kenya. They want to raise my child without me after stealing my baby.
If the accusations and allegations Göran made against me were true, why is he threatening my life? Furthermore, he is an alcoholic, a rapist and has a criminal record. Is this justice? Why does the Swedish authorities like covering whites even after they have killed, murdered and brutalized women? Göran Skog has tortured me and now he wants me to keep quiet? I will fight for my rights until justice is done and those who are talking rubbish about me can just continue but one day, justice will be done. As for Göran, know that I will never rest until I get my baby back. This is just the beginning.
April 6, 2014
Having inherited massive wealth created illegally by his parents (Jomo Kenyatta and Mama Ngina), President Uhuru Kenyatta is possibly lacking the political will to fight corruption. There is no way the Kenyattas could have legally acquired the noted 500,000 acres of land which they own. If Jomo was a beneficiary of the British loan scheme for resettling Kenyans, then the family should produce documents to verify the acquisitions. In his memoir “Walking in Kenyatta’s Struggles” Duncan Ndegwa, who was the first African Governor of Central Bank of Kenya, wrote that one day Kenyatta rewarded himself with a huge colonial farmhouse, after a day’s ‘work’ of parceling land to a group of former freedom fighters (Mau Mau).
Mama Ngina and Uhuru’s elder step-sister Margaret Kenyatta, were implicated in ivory smuggling in the 1970s as documented by author Charles Hornsby in his book: “Kenya: A History Since Independence (1963-2011)”. Here’s an excerpt: “One problem was that the Kenyatta family itself was implicated in both poaching and ivory exports. Margaret Kenyatta, Kenyatta’s daughter, was chairman of the United African Company, one of at least 10 companies exporting ivory despite the ban. Ivory could earn Ksh300 (US$36) per kilogram, making one elephant worth thousands of dollars. Other valuable items included zebra pelts (5,000 of these animals were shot illegally within 320 miles of Nairobi in six months during 1975) and colobus monkey skins. In 1975, two men were found in possession of 26,000 colobus monkey skins (more than the total remaining population today).”
Jon Tinker also wrote in the New Scientist magazine on May 22 1975, about their involvement in ivory poaching: “The identity of these ivory queens is a matter of common gossip in Nairobi, and the most prominent of them are said to be Mama Ngina and Margaret Kenyatta, respectively wife and daughter to the President. In Kenya today, you can be sent to prison for what is called rumour-mongering, so in this article I shall confine myself to provable fact. And there is now documentary proof that at least one member of Kenya’s Royal family has recently shipped over six tons of ivory to Red China. Moreover, in spite of repeated denials from the Kenyan wildlife ministry that they have issued any licences to deal in or export raw ivory, this trading is being carried out with the active connivance of the highest officials in the game department.”
Uhuru’s past record in Government
Uhuru held various ministerial dockets under the leadership of former presidents Moi and Kibaki. However, there is no clear indication that he fought corruption, especially as Finance Minister from January 2009 to January 2012, when he resigned after the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed its case against him, for being involved in the post election violence (PEV) which occurred in 2007-08. His contribution to the then new Transport Policy which aimed to eradicate the mismanagement, high maintenance cost and inefficienct use of vehicles in the public sector, was the controversial purchase of 120 Volkswagen Passat cars from CMC Holdings Ltd without a competitive bid, to be used by ministers and senior government officers.
Now that Uhuru is president, how come his Cabinet Secretaries took advantage of the gap before the new fiscal year in June 2013, to purchase fuel-guzzlers that he had barred during his term at the Treasury? How then, is his Government cutting public expenditure while his own officers squander public money?
Uhuru Kenyatta encountered a “computer error” during the 2009/10 Fiscal Year, which may have cost the taxpayer KES 9.67 billion. Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, over KES 700 billion could not be accounted for on his watch as Finance Minister.
Uhuru has no record of having paid taxes as former MP for Gatundu South, Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, at least from a court petition filed in 2013 to block him from contesting the presidency for the same reason. Therefore, he is not in a position to question the integrity of public office holders. This holds too for his deputy William Ruto, who was ordered by a court last year to pay KES 5 million as compensation to Mr. Adrian Muteshi for having grabbed his 100-acre piece of land during the PEV.
Under Uhuru’s presidency, sections of the 2013 report by the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission which questioned the illegal acquisition of vast tracts of land by his family and relatives, were deleted. Moreover, the report has not been implemented.
We don’t know how much the ICC cases of Uhuru and Ruto are costing Kenya’s ruthlessly exploited taxpayers since 2013. Lobbying AU Member States to push for the termination of the cases, Ruto’s claimed ‘Hustler’s Jet’ trip of around KES 25 million and trips to The Hague, are not cheap ventures.
The standard gauge railway (SGR) project commissioned by Uhuru in November 2013 is a brewing scandal which could cost Kenyans a loss of KES 400 billion because of irregularities in the tendering process. Its initial estimated cost of KES 220 billion was inflated to KES 334.8 billion and is currently at KES 1.3 trillion. Some experts have argued that it would cost the country less money to upgrade the existing railway line, and still achieve what Uhuru’s government wants with the scandalous project.
In 2002, Dr. John Mutonyi conceptualized corruption in Kenya and gave glowing recommendations for fighting it in his journal article titled “’Fighting corruption: Is Kenya on the right track?” Interestingly, he was one of retired President Kibaki’s anti-corruption commissioners at the former Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, but he was colorless in enforcing the recommendations he wrote. His scientific paper was only good at portraying how former President Moi had failed in the anti-corruption war. When his homeboy Kibaki campaigned in 2002, he pledged to eradicate corruption. However, by the time he was ending his presidency in 2013, the act was so deeply-rooted in the country it will require a decisive leader to control it.
Given Uhuru Kenyatta’s history in Government, there is little hope that he will effectively fight corruption.
March 31, 2014
Karundi Mathenge was laid to rest on Saturday, March 22 2014 in Nyeri. The funeral was attended by, among others, Kenya’s Chief Justice, Dr. Willy Mutunga who was Karundi teacher at the University of Nairobi when the late Karundi was studying Law. It is notable that despite his busy schedule, Dr. Mutunga managed to get time to be part of relatives and friends who gathered at the homestead to be part of Karundi’s his final send off.
During fund raising in Stockholm for Karundi’s funeral expenses, some friends could not make it to the two harambees that were organized but sent their contributions after Karundi had been buried. These contributions amounted to Ksh 5.147 and have since been sent to the Karundi family by Mr. Martin Ngatia, one of the Karundi harambee initiative takers in Stockholm. The funds were sent to Karundi’s brother who has been handling the funds from Stockholm on behalf of the family.
Following the conclusion of Karundi’s funeral, the Karundi family in Kenya would like to thank all friends in Stockholm who contributed generously towards the Karundi funeral fund. Through Karundi’s brother, the family would like to make it known that they were extremely moved by the action of Karundi’s friends in Stockholm who intervened financially at short notice to help the family with the huge financial burden that came with the demise of Karundi.
“On behalf of the family, I take this opportunity to send the family’s gratitude for the solidarity friends in Stockholm showed us”, Karundi’s brother told KSB.
Karundi’s strategy from exile
When he left for Kenya during President Mwai Kibaki’s first term in office, Karundi did not have a lot of hopes and expectations about any dramatic political developments in Kenya under the Narc regime. Although he was the Chairman of Kibaki’s Democratic Party (DP) in Stockholm, Karundi remained open to friends and political acquaintances with the fact that DP (which was part of the Narc bandwagon) had no policies and strategies which would transform Kenya and get rid of the daily problems of corruption, high unemployment, tribalism in government and the general underdevelopment that had ruined millions of lives in Kenya.
However, Karundi expected that upon his arrival in Kenya, he would get an opportunity to serve the people of Kenya under the Kibaki regime that had come to power by a landslide majority. Karundi knew Kibaki personally and when Kibaki visited Stockholm in the late 90s, Kibaki did eat ugali at Karundi’s house in Alby during an exclusive dinner hosted in Kibaki’s honour. Just before he left for Kenya, Karundi received several assurances from the Kibaki regime that upon his arrival, he would be absorbed into the Party and well positioned to serve the Nation by bringing in new ideas he had accumulated from exile. Unfortunately, this did not happen because after landing in Kenya, Karundi continued to be ignored, isolated and prevented from getting contact with the then President Mwai Kibaki who was in power.
As he engaged in conversations with friends in Stockholm ahead of his final departure to Kenya, Karundi’s strategy was that once he arrived home, he would be able to work within the Party to propose viable political solutions he had developed over the years to help the Narc regime deal with the challenges it was facing. Karundi left Stockholm at a time when millions of Kenyans had great hopes in the new Narc regime which, despite its capitalist orientation, was seen as “different from Kanu” on grounds that dictator Moi had left the scene after 24 years of misrule. What was unknown to Karundi was that a cabal of devoted mafia elements who surrounded Kibaki had become too protective of the President and limited access to him in a way that Karundi could have no chance of getting his point to Kibaki, leave alone getting absorbed into the system.
The catastrophic disadvantage that weighed heavily against Karundi’s ambitions of making contact with President Kibaki was that Kibaki’s senility was in constant progression. This development is responsible for the easy take-over of State House business by the Mount Kenya mafia which was increasingly becoming restless as a result of the tension and political consequences that came with the battle between Kibaki and Raila Odinga following the betrayal and dumping of the Memorandum of Understanding that was secretly concocted and signed when Narc was being cobbled ahead of the 2002 elections.
Karundi kept at bay by Kibaki’s handlers
For the Mafia cartel that took charge of the Narc looting agenda and that decided on who could meet Kibaki, Karundi’s entry in Kenya from exile in Sweden was insignificant. This was because apart from fighting Raila’s LDP forces who had literally crippled the government, the Mafia was busy looting State coffers and as one scandal after another exploded in the media, the Mafia was more preoccupied with covering up their murky tracks and trying to contain the scandals than paying attention to a newly arrived former exile in the name of Karundi Mathenge. Worse still, Kibaki’s regime was violating human rights with impunity and, in the process, executing innocent civilians at an alarming rate. Under the circumstances, inviting Karundi to join Kibaki’s inner circle could have been tantamount to inviting a fierce detective at the scene of crime.
Another hitch which may have been unknown to Karundi was that Kibaki’s kitchen cabinet and Security homeboys that formed part of the State House mechanism knew that Karundi had very radical views that did not fit in DP’s framework of political solutions to Kenya’s problems. For example, Karundi was against land grabbing yet Kibaki was in the league of top land grabbers in Kenya. From the point of view of this corrupt elite, admitting Karundi (who remained non compromising on the question of corruption, human rights violations, tribalism in government, exploitation of workers and political opportunism) into the inner sanctum of the President’s palace was politically suicidal. It is for this reason that every attempt by Karundi to try and get to Kibaki was routinely frustrated until Karundi gave up.
Retreat into quiet life
Kenya-Stockholmers in the know will remember the number of times Karundi communicated to friends his frustrations with the new Narc regime, the shielding of the President by thieves in government and his inability to play any role in the political process due obstructions by personalities who believed that he was more of a threat to the establishment than a political asset. The mistreatment of Karundi at the hands of Kibaki’s handlers was hardly surprising.
When the possibility of him being ignored by the ruling elite was raised by some Kenyans during Karundi’s farewell Party in Stockholm, the late was adamant that he had received guarantees from the highest levels of government whom, he said, were aware about his impending arrival. Karundi drew parallels with the arrival in Kenya of the late Kenyan exile, Onyango Osumba, who had a more dramatic reception. Raila had not only mobilized top LDP officials to meet Mr. Onyango but also ensured a respectable media coverage at Jomo Kenyatta Internationa Airport. Although Onyango later encountered his own problems with the political big wigs of LDP, he never suffered the indignity of being kept at bay from top LDP leadership. Needless to say, Onyango was properly integrated into the LDP system, unlike Karundi whose arrival was never even acknowledged.
Frustrated, abandoned and left to waste away in political cold storage, Karundi gave up trying to link up with DP or getting in touch with Kibaki. He retreated into quiet life to observe events from a distance as he reflected on the developments and let-downs by political contacts.
As he withdrew into himself, cancer that had affected his throat was also taking its toll. Strong medication was weakening him and when he eventually entered into chemotherapy as the disease threatened his life, his frail body gave in and he quietly passed away in his sleep one early morning.
Karundi’s burial on 22nd March 2014 represented the end of a life of struggle, solidarity and frustrations. What is certain is that Karundi Mathenge’s struggles for a better Kenya will remain embedded in the hearts and minds of all those who knew him. The values he fought for, the political ideals he stood for and the Kenya he wanted are far from being realized. His death will remain a constant reminder to fighters still standing that the struggle against the system must continue.
March 28, 2014
It is with great sadness that we, relatives and friends, remember the sudden demise of Calvin George Bwengye who passed away in Uganda and who has since been buried in his homeland.
As the fond memories of Calvin continue to imbue the minds of all those who knew and cherished him in life, relatives and friends would hereby like to invite all concerned parties and acquaintances to a Memorial service that will take place at Skarpnäck church (T-Skarpnäck) on Saturday, 29th March 2014 at 14.00 sharp.
After the service, there will be a dinner and get-together moment at Bohusgatan 25 in Skanstull on the same day, 29th March from 17.00 hrs. Calvin was born on 21st July 1964 and passed away on 6th March 2014.
For further information, contact: Mary Bwengye on 0767 449 893, Gloria Sebalu on 0708 451 180 or Godfrey Etyang on 0735 046 385. May the soul of the late Calvin Rest in Eternal Peace.
March 24, 2014
March 23, 2014
Long before the September 21, 2013 Westgate Mall terror attack in Nairobi, corruption contributed to the human trafficking of Somalis into Kenya. The Kenya-Somalia border is around 780 kilometers long and porous in many parts, which are known as “panya” routes (Kiswahili for rat). These are paths carved and used as entry points for illegal immigrants commonly called mbuzi (Kiswahili for goats). Mbuzi is the slang shared by human traffickers and the police whom they bribe to get through security checks.
A well-oiled network of brokers coordinates the arrival of illegal immigrants through the Kenyan gateway towns of Isiolo and Garissa. In a video titled “Exposing smuggler routes across the Somalia-Kenya border” (November, 2013), CNN correspondent Nima Elbagir and her colleague secretly filmed her bus trip into Kenya using a rat route. She reported that: “Traveling on these smugglers’ routes, we’ve managed to enter Somalia from Kenya without showing any ID, without going through any checkpoints, and without going through any kind of a security process.”
According to Nima, if one does not have legal documentation, then they can buy fake Kenyan identification documents (IDs) for $230 on the bus. “As we arrive at Garissa, the main town in eastern Kenya, passengers line up at the checkpoint. Security officers scrutinize thumbprints with the help of a magnifying glass, comparing them against the fake IDs. We overhear one woman take a police officer aside and tell him bluntly that she doesn’t have valid papers. Everyone, including the woman, is waved back onto the bus and on their way to the country’s capital. I show my official documentation — not the fake IDs we purchased — and join them.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Parselelo Kantai in an exclusive article titled “What pushed Kenya into Somalia” in the November 2013 issue of The Africa Report magazine. He wrote that a former administrator with the Kenyan government revealed to him how in a 2010 report, he had detailed border corruption and how “militant Islamist groups had established training bases in Isiolo and Wajir counties” with the full knowledge of individuals in the Kenyan government. These were the same people who financed the mbuzi and khat (stimulant drug) businesses. The former administrator observed that a junior police officer manning a roadblock was ordered by his boss not to stop any suspicious trucks at the border, otherwise he would be “charged with failing to obey the lawful order of his superior.”
The former administrator also stated that quite a large number of Somalis were then entering Kenya with possibly fake Ethiopian passports and if they did not have one, would pay Ksh1000 at every roadblock from Moyale to Isiolo. “With these and much more, the future security of northern Kenya and Kenya as a nation is a real concern for anyone who can see beyond his nose” he wrote in his report.
On March 21, 2014 Joe Kiarie ran a blood-chilling headline in The Standard newspaper: “Security alarm as gangsters, muggers take over city” which documented the return of hardened criminals who had been kept off the city center of Nairobi (central business district) since 2005, due to a successful street lighting program, increased police presence and the ejection of street families and urchins. However, since the Jubilee government took over in 2013, street families have returned and the lighting program has been neglected.
“From daylight shootouts to frequent muggings, the city centre is fast degenerating into a gangster’s den. Vulture-eyed pickpockets and muggers targeting pedestrians roam every city corner while smash-and-grab attacks targeting motorists are equally on the rise. A puzzle to most victims is that the criminals, who range from seemingly experienced thieves to impulsive vandals, operate with a high degree of impunity” Kiarie wrote.
It is not only ordinary Kenyans who suffer in the hands of criminals. Crime is now affecting affluent people and robberies have increased at high-end residential areas. Recently, Deputy President William Ruto’s spokesman David Mugonyi was carjacked at night and robbed of cash and other valuables along Dennis Pritt Road in Nairobi, where President Uhuru Kenyatta’s private residence is situated. Uhuru’s aunt and her driver were also carjacked at night earlier this month, along Uhuru Highway and lost cash, mobile phones and shoes. Last December, criminals snatched a mobile phone from Uhuru’s son Jomo Kenyatta, around 8pm as he was driving along Kenyatta Avenue. On November 20, 2013 robbers attacked the Kyuna home of Uhuru’s uncle Ngengi Muigai, and stole Ksh200 000, mobile phones and other personal effects. Last July, thieves stole a mobile phone belonging to Grace Nyambura Muhuho, a sister to Uhuru Kenyatta’s mother, at her home in Gatundu.
On September 12th 2013, The Standard reported that over 200 MPs confronted Uhuru in a meeting and rated Kenya’s security at either zero or one, on a scale of one to 10. He responded thus: “Security is for all of us, whatever solutions that we drive towards need to incorporate the views of everybody. We have a problem, we must acknowledge it.” A week later on 21st September, Uhuru’s nephew Mwangi Mbugua and Mwangi’s fiancée Rosemary Wahito were shot dead during the Westgate Mall terror attack.
The Jubilee Government has perfected the art of lying and exhibiting inefficiency in security matters. While Uhuru and Ruto’s personal security is guaranteed 24/7, their relatives, associates and the wider Kenyan community have no similar guarantee. Uhuru is totally clueless on how to tame insecurity. According to a recent Standard newspaper report, there is only Ksh62,000 remaining for the operations of the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit during March 2014. The Kenya Police Airwing has only two operational aircraft and generally, there is poor funding for terrorism and crime in the country. Meanwhile, Uhuru is hell-bent on assigning Class One pupils at public schools a laptop each, while Nairobi grows back to its inglorious days of Nairobbery.
March 19, 2014
Prayer Meeting for the late Solomon Maingi Mwambua, a Kenyan who died in Stockholm about two weeks ago, will be held on Saturday, March 22nd 2014 at his residence in Jodbro. The body of the late Solomon was discovered by police under circumstances that suggested that he may have taken his life.
Speaking to KSB on behalf of the family, Serah Nielsen, a close family friend, said that the Prayers will begin at 18.00 hrs at the residence located at Sandstensvägen 13 in Jodbro. Kenyans, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers have all been invited to condole with the bereaved family which is currently undergoing great difficulty following the demise of a loved and trusted member.
Since news about Solomon’s death swept across Stockholm, his widow, Ruth Solomon, has been receiving visitors at the residence. Solomon left behind three young teen agers (eldest aged 16) and mourners have been encouraging them to have strength and courage to go through this very difficult moment marked by great sorrow.
So far, the family is still in shock and the burial place of Solomon has not been decided. According to Serah Nielsen, the current family spokesperson, it is expected that after the Prayer meeting, the Solomon family in Kenya and Sweden shall have consulted enough to decide on Solomon’s final resting place after which mourners will be updated.
Well-wishers and sympathizers alike wishing to get in touch with Solomon’s family directly for purposes of condoling with them at their hour of need can reach Solomon’s widow at 0728349639. It is God who giveth life and God who taketh away life. May Solomon’s soul rest in eternal peace.
March 18, 2014
Since the last fund raising towards Karundi Mathenge’s funeral which was held on Friday, March 15th 2014, a new initiative by Karundi’s friends in Stockholm has netted fresh funds ahead of Karundi’s burial scheduled for Saturday, 22nd March 2014 in Nyeri, Kenya.
Susan, a Tanzanian lady (who was a close friend of Karundi before he left for Kenya) together with other friends who could not attend the March 15th harambee have raised Ksh 39.000 towards Karundi’s funeral expenses. This brings the total amount so far raised by Karundi’s friends in Stockholm to Ksh 103,346.
Speaking to KSB, Susan said that the money was sent to Karundi’s brother in Kenya today, Tuesday 18th March through Moneygram cash transfer services.
She said that the fund raising has been taking place for the last one week at her residence in Fitja after she decided with friends to set up an “Open House” at her residence to facilitate the harambee. Friends who missed the first harambee have been pouring in at her residence to make their contributions.
Susan said that the Open House is still on and that it will be closed on Friday, 21st March 2014 ahead of Karundi’s burial the following day. She said that no more funds will be raised after Karundi’s burial and urged all parties interested in making contributions to get in touch with her or attend the open House sessions at Krogarvägen 4 in Fitja. Susan thanked everybody who made contributions to make the exercise a big success. For further information about the on-going “Open House” session or to contribute, contact Susan at 0762492494.
March 18, 2014
Dekula Band “Ngoma Ya Kilo”
Place: Lilla Wien “Little Nairobi”
Address: Swedenborgsg. 20
Pendel: Södra Station
New CD is coming soon
March 17, 2014
Mr. Okoth Osewe’s recent article at the Kenya Stockholm Blog calling for Kenyan civil servants to down their tools if forced to have a salary cut was timely, given the current push by President Uhuru Kenyatta to reduce the public wage bill. Interestingly, he and Deputy President William Ruto have decided to take a 20% salary cut each and have ordered Cabinet secretaries and parastatal heads to follow suit. But the big question is: Will the move improve the overall wellbeing of Kenyans? Definitely not, because Kenyan politicians and senior State officers are so greedy and corrupt they will always find ways of filling in the gaps created by the so-called salary cut, which is a gimmick to lure Kenyans away from the non-performance record of the Jubilee government. Why should Kenyatta take a monthly salary given his inherited and illegally-acquired vast wealth? He should instead surrender his pay to poor Kenyans so that he can morally pay for his parents’ corrupt ways of acquiring the Kenyatta family’s wealth.
Last month, the Presidency (State House) requested for an additional Ksh1.5 billion to manage its affairs until the end of this financial year on 30th June. Last year, Kenyatta’s office was allocated Ksh3.1 billion for the 2013/14 budget, yet the year is not yet over and he wants more money. If he cannot lead by example, then he should step down. He needs to seal all leakages and wastage (read corruption) at State House first, then it will not matter if he wants a salary of Ksh10 million per month. Uhuru so far, just like former President Kibaki, is not showing political will in the fight against corruption. Therefore, pay cuts in the public sector will not change anything. Kenyatta’s foreign trips since last year, and all the unnecessary expenditures incurred to charm AU states to back him in his personal challenge (read the ICC case), were not budgeted for and thus the current deficit.
Ironically, Jubilee sycophant and motormouth Aden Duale, who is the Majority Leader of the National Assembly, is willing to have his salary reduced. But last year when Uhuru raised the red flag on the wage bill, he did not convince MPs not to accept unlimited allowances. By reducing their basic salaries but maintaining huge allowances, they will not be making a difference. The recent Jubilee retreat to discuss the ridiculous salary reduction was held at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club, which is one of the most expensive hospitality facilities in the country. It does not make economic sense to spend around Ksh100 million as reported in a cross-section of the local media, to discuss a 20% salary cut.
Although Uhuru’s election pledge for free maternity service to all Kenyan women is being implemented, shockingly, the results of a new study titled ‘A Price Too High to Bear,’ indicate that in every two hours, a woman dies during pregnancy or child-birth due to complications. (See http://www.who.int/pmnch/media/news/2014/press_release.pdf).
Almost a year since the policy’s initiation, maternity hospitals and healthcare centers remain in bad shape and many pregnant women especially the urban and rural poor ones, still depend on traditional midwives to assist them at childbirth. Those who die within this category are likely not to be reported: meaning that the mortality rates are higher countrywide.
Kenyans sleep hungry
The much-hyped laptop project which was one of Uhuru’s key election pledges, has failed to take off after the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board revoked the contract awarded to a mediocre Indian company (Olive Telecommunications Company), which has no capacity to meet the demand. If the government’s budget can only sustain a bid for Ksh20 billion, who authorized the Olive Telecommunications award amounting to Ksh24.6 billion? Moreover, it has been realized that the company has no annual turnover of Ksh8 billion which is the minimum required for awarding the laptop tender. According to Capital FM: “In the year 2010, 2011 and 2012, the company’s annual audited results were Sh6.9million, Sh14.2 million and Sh767million respectively which was way below the requirement for the Lot 1 of the laptop project.” Talk about an Analogue government which campaigned to give Kenyans a “Digital government.”
During the one year of Jubilee rule, poor Kenyans have only experienced hunger, joblessness and hopelessness. The latest Ipsos Kenya perception poll findings released on March 14, 2014 and published in the Nation newspaper indicated that: “Jubilee supporters’ confidence in the President dropped from 53 to 41 per cent and for his deputy from 48 to 38 per cent. This drop also encompasses officers in the executive arm of the government.”
“50% of the respondents felt the cost of living was a serious issue while 19 per cent pointed out lack of employment. Nine per cent said corruption was a major cause of worry while seven per cent said crime and insecurity were issues to worry about.”
“Poor leadership, famine and tribalism polled at five, three, and two per cent respectively while surprisingly, only one per cent of Kenyans said they were concerned about the leadership wrangles due to ICC cases facing President Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.”
“26 per cent of Kenyans were still sleeping hungry with a majority, 37 per cent from Nyanza and 12 per cent from Central.”
Kenya is ripe for a revolution to give direction on political leadership. Jubilee is similar to the past governments of Kibaki, Moi and Jomo Kenyatta, which tolerated grand corruption and failed to provide necessary services to the taxpayers. Uhuru is filthy rich and will not fight for the poor or redistribute land which is important for economic growth, since he owns thousands of acres acquired illegally.
Lastly, Kenyans wait with bated breath to see how the funds raised by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s ‘Beyond Zero’ campaign to improve maternal and child care will be managed. She did well at the half-marathon on 9th March which has raised over Ksh200 million. The irony is that over the years, women and children have been dying due to lack of access to basic healthcare. Where have these rich people been?
March 13, 2014
If there was a socialist, militant or revolutionary Trade Union representing the badly exploited Kenya’s Civil Servants, the key pre-occupation of such a Union in the face of pay-cut plans by a corrupt President would be to prepare and radicalize workers in the direction of a protracted national strike action, not sleeping on the job. The plan by Uhuru’s corrupt government to reduce salaries of Civil Servants by 10% allegedly to cut the National Wage Bill (which stands at Ksh 400 billion) is probably the filthiest conspiracy by the rotten Jubilee capitalist elite to openly defraud overburdened workers who are perpetually living on starvation wages.
If implemented, over half a million workers in the entire Civil Service will be driven deeper into poverty and great human suffering while the wealth grabbers running the corrupt government will emerge unscathed. If their salaries are reduced by even 1%, a modest reaction of affected workers should be an immediate downing of tools to bring the Uhuru government to a standstill followed by a protracted campaign for a “regime change” to overthrow the Jubilee government on grounds that it is being led by a bunch of corrupt thieves now seeking to rob workers of their salaries through the familiar “politics of deception” usually employed by every mafia cartel that has ever controlled State House in Kenya.
In his propaganda to propagate the “reduce salaries” crusade, ICC suspect Uhuru Kenyatta has claimed that he will himself have his salary reduced by 20%, leaving him with a monthly pay of Ksh 989,600 while his Deputy President, William Ruto will take home Ksh 841,500.
Compared to the minimum wage of a Nairobi worker (who earns Ksh 8,500), the main victims of Uhuru’s planned salary slash are obvious. However, an important detail in the argument is the overt and shameless deception of workers that since the salaries of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are also being slashed by an even bigger margin (20% as opposed to workers’ 10%), “everybody is in it” and that Uhuru and Ruto “are sacrificing even more” than the workers. Unfortunately, these are the rotten tactics used by an equally rotten ruling class bent on stealing from poor and deprived workers as the crisis of capitalism gives way to political and economic gangsterism before the expected anarchy in the management of public affairs eventually sets in.
It is pathetic that once again, workers may have to take the shit from thieves running government without a fight because their Unions are emasculated while the official Opposition (led by Cord) has effectively been castrated. After more than four decades of struggle for political pluralism; the overthrow of the Moi/KANU dictatorship; the establishment of a new constitutional order and the revamping of the Judiciary, Kenya is ripe for a fresh and revolutionary Movement or Party whose agenda is not to further push for reforms on a capitalist basis but to overturn and abolish the capitalist system which has effectively failed citizens. This is because the system is rotten beyond reform and even the traditional reformists across the country have abandoned the Reform movement leaving the stage for revolution. In fact, there is nothing left to reform.
Capitalist crisis will drive Kenya into total chaos
Put into perspective, the plan by the Jubilee government to reduce Workers’ salaries is fresh evidence that the greedy gang of wealth grabbers running government like a family business have no mercy or sympathy towards thousands of suffering and deprived Civil Servants in Kenya. Interestingly, this posture is normal because capitalism is “man-eat-man” society. The top cream of the regime has a series of allowances that will ensure that they are insulated from the effects of high inflation that has reduced Kenyan workers to sheer paupers. Among the allowances the rich enjoy are: commuter, housing, medical, transport, entertainment, foreign trips, uniform, sitting, extraneous, standing, special salary, just to mention but a few.
Specifically, the highest cadre in the Civil Serve structure is job group V (Cabinet Secretaries) whose holders take home Ksh 889, 912 in allowances as compared to their second lowest counterparts in job group B whose holders take home Ksh 16, 423 in allowances. For job group V holders, the allowances are on top of a basic salary of Ksh 737,332. Officially, some Civil Servants are entitled to a monthly house allowance of Ksh 99, 188, extraneous allowance of Ksh 107, 143, entertainment allowance of Ksh 104,000 and another Ksh 469, 156 as special salary.
Under the circumstances, it is nothing but “the politics of deception” for Uhuru to argue that since top Civil Servants (with him in the lead) will have their salaries slashed, everybody “needs to sacrifice” because the wage bill is too huge. It is the kind of argument that can only be accepted by zombies being led by another confused zombie and surely, Kenya is not a country of zombies. For every concerned Kenyan, this is why the question of revolution to overthrow the wealth grabbers needs to be on the table before a persistent crisis within the system drives the country’s population into anarchy and total chaos. Kenya needs a new revolutionary order.
To bring about a democratic “regime change” that can effectively abolish the dictatorship of the rich in Kenya, the capitalist system that has been tried for more than 50 years and which has failed the citizens will also have to go.
A Socialist government needs to come to power in Kenya
In France, a “Socialist” party is in power while in Chile, a “Socialist” president was sworn in on Tuesday this week after a Socialist party swept to power in the just concluded General elections in Chile. In Venezuela’s last elections, a Socialist party romped to victory and is following in the footsteps of the late revolutionary socialist, Hugo Chavez. To be exact, Latin America has been riding on a Leftist tide for many years now with workers across the Latin American continent overthrowing rotten capitalist regimes and replacing them with Socialist dictatorships to build Workers’ states.
In these countries, working people have been playing leading roles in struggles to take over corrupt capitalist governments in order to run societies in the interest of workers and the oppressed. In retrospect, why have struggles in Kenya stagnated to an extent that workers are mere spectators in struggle as the rich slash their salaries, increase prices of basic consumer commodities and loot public wealth created by workers who are the biggest financers of the government through taxation?
The answer is that workers in Kenya have never been represented in the struggle for power because of the absence of a Workers’ Party armed with a revolutionary Program of action. From an organized political position, there is currently no force in Kenya seeking to stop a corrupt Jubilee regime that came to power through a stolen election from stealing the hard-earned cash of toiling workers already ravaged by low wages, disorientated by years of economic deprivation and ruined by high inflation.
The reason why a Workers’ Party is not yet on the ground is because workers are still not yet conscious of the need to organize politically. Millions of workers still believe in the illusion that the traditional Trade Unions led by the corrupt Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) can effectively represent their interests. If the Civil Servants Union is sleeping on the job on the eve of the biggest “mass salary cuts” by an illegitimate regime, the alternative force that ought to have been calling for a strike is COTU but Atwoli also appears to be in deep sleep. In the end, the Jubilee regime will end up slashing salaries of workers without a single organized political opposition. The situation calls for a serious rethinking especially by the millions of workers without whose input, there can be no government and no money for the ruling class to loot.
Workers’ salaries should be going up, not down
The Kenya Red Alliance condemns the planned salary cuts of Civil Servants by Jubilee and calls on affected workers to counter the plan by heeding a KRA call for a strike action. In the last 12 months, 56 cases of high level corruption were brought by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission before the Deputy Public Prosecutor Keraiko Tobiko but so far, there has been no action. The point is that money lost through corruption (estimated at Ksh 300 billion annually) is what is creating a gap in Kenya’s annual budget, not lack of revenue. Because of corruption, the Kenya Revenue Authority is only collecting 35% of taxes so once again, the problem is not lack of money but lack of what can be called “government” to take control of Kenya’s economy since the Jubilee government is simply a Committee of looters led by suspected war criminals who were rigged to power to fight ICC cases.
Civil Servants are an easy target for the Jubilee government because this government has never experienced the wrath of workers. The proposed salary cuts should serve as a wake-up call to workers especially on the need for them to seek Socialist solutions to a political mess occasioned by greedy tumbo kubwas running the affairs of the State.
The real and lasting solution when capitalism enters into one crisis after another is a democratic Socialist revolution led by workers. As long as Kenyan workers believe that there is a short cut to prosperity through another new Constitution, a new IEBC or a new Willy Mutunga sitting on top of the Judiciary, they will, most likely, die starving. This is because capitalism is ruthless and no fundamental political, social or economic progress will be made in Kenya if the system cannot be smashed to open the way for the establishment of socialism and the reconstruction of society along socialist principles. KRA’s leadership appeals to Workers and the oppressed in Kenya to either begin studying the ideas of KRA or join the formation because there is no viable political alternative. KRA believes that Workers’ salaries in Kenya out to be going up, not down!
Kenya Red Alliance (KRA)
March 10, 2014
This is to inform the public and other interested parties that friends of the late Karundi Mathenge raised Ksh 64,346 (SEK 5,150) towards Karundi’s funeral fund. The harambee took place on Friday, 7th March 2014 at Hallunda in Stockholm. Karundi passed away last week in Kenya where he had been ailing for some time.
On Saturday, 8th March, the cash was sent to the family through Karundi’s brother, Mr. Ngini Gathekia who said that the contribution will be transmitted to the Mathenge Karundi Funeral Committee in Kenya. Gathekia thanked all friends of Karundi and added that the Committee will be meeting on Friday this week to finalize plans for Karundi’s funeral. The cash was sent through Moneygram Cash Transfer Services in Stockholm. The initiative takers would like to thank all those who attended the function.
Specifically, the initiative takers would like to thanked Njeri Wagikandi, Mr. and Mrs. Gitau, Jacinter Njoroge, Sofia Njoroge, Daniel Mwaura, Jared Odero, Okoth Osewe, Mark Gaya, Philip Pool, Munala wa Munala, Mrs. Hellen Opwapo, Gerry Changa Midenyo, Peter Mukundi, Albinus Odada, Christine Chambay, Geophrey Kamau together with all the good people who sent messages of condolences or helped in any way in making the impromptu harambee a success.
Speaking to KSB, Mr. Martin Ngatia, one of the initiative takers, thanked friends who congregated at Hallunda at very short notice to show solidarity with the late Karundi’s family at a time of great shock and sorrow. “It was the best solidarity friends in Stockholm could show towards the bereaved family of a fallen Comrade”, Mr. Ngatia told KSB.
Throughout the function, members took time to extol the good virtues of the late Karundi who was known in Stockholm to have been a very principled freedom fighter who believed in the liberation of Kenya from neo-colonialism and imperialist domination.
Although Karundi has passed on, left Kenya with a muli-party state and a new Constitution, the general mood at the fund raising was that a lot of work still needs to be done to liberate Kenya from capitalist class rule that is ravaging the country and promoting poverty, mass unemployment, starvation (especially in North Eastern province), political opportunism, tribalism, personality cult and emperor worship.
Mr. Karundi will, no doubt, be missed by all those who knew him as a Kenyan freedom fighter who had a clear ideological vision for Kenya. Karundi will be buried on Saturday, 22nd March 2014 in his home village in Nyeri.
Karundi Funeral Task Force in Stockholm
March 6, 2014
Following the passing of former Stockholmer, friends of the late Karundi Mathenge will fund raise in support of his funeral that will take place on Saturday 22nd March 2014. The funds drive will take place at Hallunda Bar on Friday, March 7th from 17.00 hrs.
Speaking to KSB, Mr. Martin Ngatia said that the late Karundi was foced to flee to exile to continue with the anti-Moi struggle because he loved Kenya. Mr. Ngatia said that one way of honoring Karundi following his departure is for friends to show solidarity with his bereaved family by meeting and being part of his funeral arrangements.
Mr. Karundi returned to Kenya a few years ago to settle back home following the ascension to power of former President Mwai Kibaki. At the time he left Sweden to resettle in Kenya, Mr. Karundi was the Chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) that was being headed by Kibaki. At one time, Karundi hosted president Kibaki at his residence in Alby when Kibaki came to Stockholm to campaign in the run up to the 2002 General elections.
The departure of Mr. Karundi will, most likely, be felt by many Kenyans who knew him since his days of student activism at the University of Nairobi before he fled Kenya to Tanzania from where he made his way to Sweden during the early 80s. The initiative takers appeal to Karundi’s friends, well-wishers and sympathizers to turn up at Hallunda to celebrate the life of a Kenyan who gave majority of his time on earth to the liberation of Kenya.
March 5, 2014
Mr. Karundi Mathenge, a former Kenya-Stockholmer who moved to Kenya about six years ago, is dead. According to a family source, Karundi has been ailing for some time before he succumbed yesterday morning, plunging the entire family into deep mourning.
The news has shocked many Kenyans and friends in Stockholm who knew Karundi as a revolutionary Kenyan who spent more than two decades in exile in Sweden after fleeing from the then dictatorship of Daniel arap Moi.
KSB sends deep condolences to Karundi’s family following the sad news about his sudden departure. We hope that the famly will gather the strength and courage to go through this very difficult moment marked by deep sorrow and mourning.
According to the family, friends, relatives, sympathizers and well wishers are meeting daily in Kenya to prepare for Karundi’s interrment. The late Kenyan will be burried on Saturday, March 22nd 2014 in his ancestral home in Nyeri, Kenya. May the All Mighty rest Karundi’s soul in Eternal Peace.
March 5, 2014
Mr. and Mrs. Mbugua would hereby like to announce the sudden death of Mr. John Kabue, father to Regina, Cate and Ann. Friends will meet today, Wednesday, 5th March 2014 for Prayers at Lillåkersvägen 22 in Lidingo from 18.00 hrs. For further information, contact Mr. Muritu on 0736592556 or Mr. Moses Kangogo on 0739235475.
KSB sends deep condolences to the bereaved family following the untimely death of a loved member. We hope that the family will gather the strength and courage to go through this very difficult moment marked with grief and deep sorrow. May the Almighty God rest the late John Kabue’s soul in Eternal Peace.
March 3, 2014
A 64 year old Kenya-Stockholmer is suspected to have committed suicide last Wednesday, February 26th 2014, plunging his entire family into deep mourning. The Kenyan’s lifeless body was allegedly found by police hanging on a tree in the woods a little distance from the Kenyan’s residence in Jordbrå, Stockholm. The police were alerted by a passersby who discovered the body dangling on a tree branch.
According to a source close to the bereaved family, the late Kenyan travelled home to Ukambani last September where he stayed for six months before returning to Sweden last month. KSB has learnt that for many years, the Kenyan has been living on early pension which he was awarded by the Swedish authorities due to illness. It is understood that the late had been suffering from neck and back pains prompting Swedish doctors to recommend him for early pension. The KSB source said that eight days after the Kenyan returned from his home trip, his body was found after which the family was alerted.
On Tuesday last week, a source said that the Kenyan left his flat at Västerhanninge in Stockholm but never returned. The source said that at first, the family thought that the late Kenyan was chilling at a nearby drinking hole and that he would soon return. The family knew that it was the Kenyan’s habit to take a stride to relax with friends before returning home, sometimes late in the night. The source said that what was strange was that on the day he vanished from home, the Kenyan left behind his wallet which contained all his cards including his ID card.
On Wednesday last week, the source said that police called the Kenyan’s wife to report to the station to show her a photo. When the wife admitted that the image was that of her hubby who had gone missing the previous day, the police disclosed that the Kenyan appears to have taken his life and that the body had been recovered. The police said that the body was being preserved at a local morgue. The police did not however say how the Kenyan may have died although a source told KSB that his body was found hanging on a tree in the woods. The police has so far not released any further information to the family regarding circumstances of death, probably because “investigations are still continuing”.
Currently, the family is still in a state of shock and is unable to come to grips with the fact that barely eight days after he returned from Kenya, the head of the family had decided to take his life.
Kenyans, friends, sympathizers and well-wishers have been pouring into the residence of the bereaved family to condole with them during this time of great shock and sorrow. A Committee is in the process of being established to help the family cope with this great loss of a loved member. The Committee will update Kenyans about any further arrangements.
KSB sends deep condolences to the bereaved family and hopes that it will find strength and courage to go through this very difficult moment. The late Kenyan leaves behind a widow and three children aged between 13 and 16 years. It is God who giveth life and God who taketh away life. May the All Mighty God rest the Kenyan’s soul in Eternal Peace.
February 26, 2014
As late as 1979, homosexuality was classified as an illness in Sweden. President Yoweri Museveni has just signed a Law banning homosexuality in Uganda, a practice which is already banned in Zimbabwe where President Robert Mugabe signed a Museveni-like Law many years ago. In Kenya, attempts to include clauses that supported homosexuality in the country’s New Constitution were all thwarted due to strong opposition by the Kenyan population which apparently argued that homosexuality is un-African, un-natural, if not, a product of Western moral decadence. So far, Museveni and Mugabe have been the leading lights in the illegalization of homosexuality in Africa, a move that has attracted the ire of Western leaders and pro-homosexuality activists.
This article does not seek to support or condemn homosexuality but to highlight the “strangeness” of homosexuality as a practice readily accepted and defended by white people. The article is part of a series of KSB articles about “Strange white stuff” as seen from the point of view of non-white people especially within the African aka black community. Under the “Strange white stuff” series, articles which have so far been published here at KSB include “the flower culture, “kissing in public” and “monitoring spouses”.
Despite attacks on Museveni and similar attacks that were directed at Mugabe following the stand of the two presidents on homosexuality, my bet is that on this issue, the two dictators have millions of secret supporters, both in Africa and in the African Diaspora. The fact that millions of Kenyans opposed pro-homosexuality clauses in their New Constitution that was promulgated in August 2010 can be cited as evidence to argue that majority of Kenyans are both with President Museveni and Mugabe on the question of banning homosexuality in society. In fact, the issue was so hot in Kenya that propaganda against homosexuality took center stage during campaigns as protagonists on both sides of the Referendum debate feasted on anti-gay and anti-lesbian fodder to try and gain political mileage.
In the end, any words, phrases or clauses that could remotely be construed to be pro-homosexuality were effectively kept out of the New Kenyan Constitution. In retrospect, it can be safe to conclude that by consciously keeping the New Constitution “clean from homosexuality”, millions of Kenyans passed an unwritten law “Museveni style” banning homosexuality in the country. Interestingly, no one has been talking about this dramatic development (including Western leaders backed by their gay and lesbian activists) as Museveni is cast on the frying pan. Why? Because it is easier to condemn an individual’s action than the resolve of millions of people. In paraphrase, the world is faced with an awkward situation in which millions of Kenyans were right while one Museveni is wrong even though both parties are opposed to the same practice that is the subject of controversy.
In Africa (and other Third World countries) opposition to homosexuality has mainly been based on both cultural and religious grounds. While Museveni and Mugabe have both exploited arguments based on African culture to push their cases, almost 90% of populations in Africa where Christianity and Islam are rooted can be assumed to be automatically opposed to the legalization of homosexuality across the continent or its practice. Since the two religions are the dominant religions in Africa, and given that “African culture” is the leading reason usually cited by anti-homosexuality operatives, it can safely be assumed that majority of Africans are opposed to homosexuality. For this reason, millions of Africans (and non-whites close to the African position) find support for homosexuality among white people very strange and this is the crux of this article.
Same sex marriages
For opponents of homosexuality, the tired questions are innumerable: how can two males or two females have sex? Biologically, the ass-hole is designed to be the final exit point for shit and since any shit stinks, the ass-hole is deemed to be the dirtiest hole on the human body. Under the circumstances, and for many non-white people, what is strange is how millions of white people can openly support the act of a man knowingly or willingly forcing his manhood in another man’s shit-hole in the name of sexual rights! Worse still, imagine a man putting his tongue on another man’s ass-hole “to stimulate him” in readiness for action then such an action is supported by white people! If it does not sound strange to you as a reader, may be you are white!
What about lesbians? There is no question that whatever two women perform in a room privately ought to be their business. For example, if they decide to use their fingers to imitate the male organ so that they can derive pleasure by dipping into their vajeyjeys during the so called “gal-to-gal articulation”, the act should be nobody’s business. Just like gays, the lesbians may be black, white or even non-white. Regardless of the justification, millions of non-white people (especially Africans) find it strange that apart from the need to leave lesbians alone to do their thing, many white people are likely to support them. This article does not seek to suggest that homosexuality is strange per se. It seeks to underline the huge support homosexuals enjoy among white people. On the subject of “strange white stuff”, it is this support that looks strange. In fact, the massive support for homosexuality among white people has always led Africans to pose the question as to what is wrong with white people.
Alternatively, supporting a man kissing another man in the name of love may sound very strange to an African. Then of course, there is the place where homosexuals get married to live like husband and wife! In Europe today and the United States, it is an accepted practice that the marriages take place in designated churches! This may be very strange when such actions are supported by white people.
This is not to suggest that homosexuality is not practiced in Africa by Africans or that it is not practiced by other non-whites. In Africa, the practice is as old as the universe. The difference is that it has no mass support because it is deemed “unnatural”. There are many strange white stuff which seem very normal to white people but support for homosexuality seem to be one of the most extreme when compared to other stuff which have been named here like the love for flowers, kissing in public and monitoring spouses. It needs to be mentioned that there are white people who do not support homosexuality. The point with this article is that majority of them do support the practice and this is what constitutes “strange white stuff”.
February 24, 2014
One fundamental reason why the Keegan Committee has decided to publish the uncanny behind-the-scenes theatrics in the run up to the Keegan harambee is not to undermine or attack Keegan’s ex or Keegan’s family. It is to check the notorious and unwelcome interventions of Kenyan “exes” in Stockholm whenever a former spouse passes on and a Committee is set up to address the critical issue of body transportation to Kenya.
In writing this report, the stated position of the Committee is that when history has converted you into an “ex” (whether man or woman) following the collapse of a matrimonial relationship, you ought to stick to the role of an “ex” when your former lover passes on. While you may have a right to look into the interests of your children in such situations, you have no right to interfere with the funeral process unless there are very special circumstances. We are recommending this arrangement because the role Keegan’s ex played during the harambee process was retrogressive to say the least.
Because of the tolerance and maturity of Committee members, a rather hostile situation looked very calm and cool. However, behind the scenes, there were constant and unwarranted battles between Keegan’s family, Keegan’s mother and the Committee. In many circumstances, the Committee sympathized with Keegan’s mom because she was in a more helpless situation, given her advanced age and the tragedy of having lost a dear son. Certain realities reported here are bitter but the Committee believes that future Committee’s will learn from the Keegan Committee’s experiences because Kenyans will continue to die, there will always be “exes” in Kenya-Stockholm while children will continue to remain part and parcel of the Kenyan society.
The battle between Mama Keegan and the Keegan family
At Keegan’s residence, the battle lines were drawn when the family raised the issue of inheritance of Keegan’s property. Although the Committee had no powers to arbitrate over the issue, daggers were drawn when the family insisted on seizing Keegan’s 42 inch plasma TV despite opposition from Keegan’s mother. At an “inheritance meeting” held at Keegan’s residence after the harambee, the Committee had to watch helplessly as Mama Keegan pleaded with the family to take anything else apart from the TV. According to Mama Keegan, the TV was the only source of entertainment at the residence and since she is not computer-savvy, her view was that the family could make do with the lap-top or “anything else” (including the leather sofa set and kitchen ware) but leave the TV alone.
The expectation of the Committee was that the family could have waited with the issue of inheritance until Keegan’s burial because strictly speaking, Keegan did not leave behind any substantial property apart from house wares. After intervention by Committee members, Keegan’s mom retained the TV. At that point, the Committee thought that the battle between Mama Keegan and the family would end there but it didn’t.
In a fresh surprise led by Keegan’s ex, the family started questioning the Committee as to why it had prioritized the purchase of Mama Keegan’s ticket, leaving the daughters with SEK 10,000 “which could not purchase two tickets”. That was after the family had tried to capture the SEK 5,000 which had been advanced to Mama Keegan to help her with funeral expenses in Kenya.
In short, the Keegan family did not want Mama Keegan to benefit in any way from the harambee money and at this point, the relationship between the Committee and the family disintegrated because the Committee took the view that the Keegan family was becoming more of a nuisance than a partner in the mission to transport Keegan’s body to Kenya.
Keegan family-Committee cut-link
As matters grew from bad to worse, Keegan’s eldest daughter called KSB to announce that the family had broken with the Committee and that henceforth, the family would take charge of the funeral arrangements. The daughter directed KSB to only publish information which was coming from the family and not the Committee. When KSB interrogated the daughter to establish what may have led to such a serious impasse after Kenyans raised SEK 75.000, the daughter had ready answers.
First, she said that the family had been disconnected from Committee activities making it difficult for the family to follow what the Committee was doing. She said that out of the SEK 75k, the family had only been given SEK 10k and that this amount was not enough for two tickets. She also said that the Committee seemed to have been prioritizing the personal interests of Mama Keegan (who had been sorted) leaving the family to seek other ways of fundraising to fill the gaping financial hole that had reportedly prevented the purchase of two tickets. Another borne of contention was that the Committee was dealing with the Funeral Agency that was to transport Keegan’s body to Kenya without consulting with the daughter who was officially, Keegan’s next of kin. According to the daughter, the Committee was rushing arrangements for the transportation of Keegan’s body without looking into the difficulties the daughters were experiencing with the ticket issue and that this situation had convinced the family that the Committee was not acting in the interest of the family.
Under the circumstances the daughter said that the family had come to the conclusion that it needed to take control of the situation by cutting links with the Committee. Legally, Keegan’s eldest daughter is the person who mattered in the situation and the daughter knew this very well.
By virtue of being the information conduit of the Committee, KSB was aware that SEK 75k had been raised and KSB informed the daughter that it did not make a lot of sense for the Committee to have given the daughters SEK 10k because even after sorting out Mama Keegan’s ticket, there was still more than SEK 20k in the kitty. After doing much of the listening, KSB promised to take up the matter with the Committee to hear their side of the story. KSB also advised the daughter that even though the family had a right to get its view across, the Committee’s side of the story also needed to be heard. As KSB sought the whereabouts of Sofia Njoroge, the Treasurer, to put her on the carpet on how the daughters had ended up with SEK 10k, Keegan’s ex called KSB and added more petrol to the fire. In fact, developments were taking place so fast that the scenario reflected a fast-paced movie packed with thrills, unexpected twists and wild turnarounds.
Additional issues raised by Keegan’s ex
One characteristic feature of Keegan’s ex is that she speaks very slowly while she also sounds like a very calm woman. When she called KSB, she emphasized on what the daughter had said while at the same time adding fresh reasons why the family was not happy with the way the Committee was running the Keegan project.
According to her, the family had scrutinized the contribution book and found “a lot of irregularities”. When pressed to name the irregularities, she did not have anything concrete although she did mention that some names “had been cancelled” in the book. Specifically, she could not answer whether the overall mathematics in the book did not tally with the final figure the Committee had worked out.
Another issue she brought up was that at the final meeting where cash was split up between the family and Mama Keegan, some Committee members walked away with crates of beer which had been left behind after the Keegan harambee. From her point of view, the crates could have been returned to the liquor store to be converted into cash which could go into the tickets for the daughters. She also said that during the “Open Houses” at Mama Keegan, there are some guests who gave Mama Keegan cash without the contributions being registered in the contribution book or being accounted for in the final figure. She emphasized that she was raising the issues in the interest of the kids.
In conclusion, she restated the daughter’s position that the family had broken with the Committee and warned that if the issues were not resolved, Keegan would be buried in Sweden. By then, the Committee had moved on and set the date for the transportation of Keegan’s body at 25th December 2013. Upon hanging up, KSB began hunting down Committee members to address the issues the family was raising. The first to come on the line was Sofia Njoroge, the Treasurer.
Reaction from the Committee
On behalf of the Committee, Sofia narrated developments at the meeting where cash was split between the family and Mama Keegan, leaving SEK 45k to sort out body transport. She explained how the daughters ended up with SEK 10k, pointing out that although SEK 75k had been raised, the family was failing to mention that SEK 9k had been deducted to carter for bankrolling. She also said that the family was not mentioning that it was also involved in the decision to sort out Mama Keegan at a meeting held at Keegan’s residence.
On the question of sidelining the family, Sofia said that as the Treasurer, she was personally in contact with the Funeral Agency for purposes of payment. She said that Keegan’s eldest daughter had already signed all necessary papers to facilitate transport and that there was nothing much that was left for her to do. She did not therefore understand what the family meant by being sidelined. She said that Keegan’s ex had produced Keegan’s old passport that triggered the paper-work by the Kenyan Embassy, leaving her with nothing else to do. She said that the family had participated in the final meeting where they were given the contribution book to scrutinize and report to the Committee in case of any anomalies.
According to Sofia, the family had not reported anything back to the Committee on the book scrutiny. On the question of “cancelled names” on the contribution book, Sofia said that those are “normal lines drawn across names” to cancel repetitions or correct errors and which, she said, were immaterial from the point of view of the final tally. On the question of the crates of beer that were allegedly scooped by some Committee members, Sofia said that the beers in question were four crates and that while one crate was left at Keegan’s residence, the Committee had agreed that three Committee members would each take one crate to compensate for the overhead expenses they had incurred. In this way, she said that the Committee did not have to dig into the kitty as this could have reduced the final figure with almost SEK 600. She said that all these decisions were taken in the presence of the family at Keegan’s residence during the winding up meeting.
On the question of Mama Keegan having been given cash that was never accounted for, Sofia said that she was not aware about such contributions although she averred that it is possible that some people may have given Mama Keegan cash without writing the contribution book. She however added that nobody could prevent guests from giving Mama Keegan cash directly although she mentioned that in such cases, it was highly unlikely that such contributors did not know about the existence of the contribution book. She said that Mama Keegan was never alone at her son’s residence throughout the harambee process and that anybody who may have given her cash may have done so with the intention of remaining anonymous. She dismissed the claims as “petty” and told KSB that Keegan’s ex ought to stop misleading her children and concentrate on helping transport the body to Kenya.
Kenya-Stockholm’s gossip channels “pick up the news”
As the KSB investigations were continuing, anti-Committee propaganda was taking root in Kenya-Stockholm’s underground news channels and gossip Networks which had gathered wind that the Committee “had eaten harambee money”. According to the “Breaking News” headlines, despite Wakenya having raised SEK 75k, there was no cash for tickets for Keegan’s daughters because money had disappeared. Like wild bushfire out of control, the rumours were spreading so fast that in a span of a few hours, the saturation of the “news” about “eaten cash” had provoked a series of phone calls to Committee members with Wakenya seeking to understand how cash melted from the harambee pot right inside the pockets of Committee members.
The ensuing excitement about “the pathogenesis of corruption” within the Keegan Committee sent shock waves down the spines of Committee members, prompting them to call an emergency meeting at Hallunda at 21.00 hrs in Stockholm to discuss the rapid development of events and to develop a counter strategy to put the records straight. KSB was invited to this meeting and it is here that a decision was taken that a full Report detailing a breakdown of finances would be released to the public as soon as possible so that the Keegan family could explain “how cash had been eaten”.
Fresh fundraising initiative hit the rocks
Although the Keegan family was never named as the source of the rumours, expert Kenya-Stockholm’s rumour mongers continued to quote “reliable sources”, “sources close to the Committee”, “watu wengine”, “some people”, “inasemekana” and other invisible propaganda stations operating illegally in the underground. When the financial break down was eventually published at KSB soon after the meeting, the situation appeared to calm down. KSB then contacted the Keegan family and offered to mediate in order to prevent the family from applying the breaks that could stop the transportation of Keegan’s body to Kenya.
The KSB strategy was based on an internal fund raising within the Committee and friends so that Keegan’s daughters could be able to purchase tickets. However, when Committee was contacted about the idea, most of the members said that they had exhausted their financial resources during the Keegan harambee and that they were not interested in any further fund raising. Some Committee members had also become tired with the antics of Keegan’s ex and the last thing they wanted to hear was fresh ideas about fund raising. Without any support from an exhausted Committee, the KSB initiative hit the rocks. This opened the way for a fresh crisis.
When KSB informed the family about the sad news, Keegan’s ex sent a text message to all Committee members (including KSB) that the family had decided to stop the transportation of Keegan’s body to Kenya. By then, Keegan’s body was chilling at Arlanda International Airport waiting for a scheduled flight to Kenya on 25th December. The flight was to take off in just 24 hours time. As the next of kin, Keegan’s daughter called the Funeral Agency and terminated all arrangements. The family said that Keegan would be buried in Sweden.
When news reached the Committee, a decision was taken to the effect that in case the family decided to bury the body in Sweden, the Committee would call a meeting and refund all cash that Wakenya contributed. Keegan’s mother was scheduled to travel at about the time the body was to leave for Kenya but when the transportation was stopped, the mother travelled as scheduled without the body. In the meantime, the Funeral Agency rebooked the body to be transported on 30th, December 2013 hoping that the postponement would create room for fund raising that would resolve the crisis. At this point, KSB attempted a fresh intervention.
Final deal on Christmas day
Using its Networks of good friends, KSB took contact with a Travel Agent in Stockholm to negotiate a deal that would enable the daughters to obtain tickets to Kenya. Although details of this deal will remain secret for reasons of confidentiality, the Agency accepted to help and on Christmas day (25th December), an official of the Agency accepted to meet the family to arrange for three tickets for two daughters and their mother.
The verbal deal with the family was that if the tickets could be worked out, Keegan’s body would be transported to Kenya on the 30th December 2013 for him to be buried on 3rd January 2014. The deal went through and Keegan’s body was transported to Kenya. The family travelled the same day that the body left Stockholm. Any questions about this Report should be directed to the Keegan Committee.
Keegan Funeral Committee in Stockholm
RELATED: Part one
February 22, 2014
Now that the late Keegan Kagwe is effectively resting in peace, the Keegan Funeral Committee would like to release this final Report to the public. The Report is long and has to be released in two parts. The mandate of the Committee was three-fold namely: to raise enough money for Keegan’s body to be transported to Kenya; to raise money for tickets of Keegan’s two daughters to enable them travel to Kenya to attend their father’s funeral and to raise money for a ticket for Keegan’s mother to travel to Kenya to bury her dear son. Following the burial of Keegan in Kenya on January 3rd 2014, the Keegan Committee can report that it duly fulfilled its mandate.
Consequently, the Committee would like to thanks all Kenyans, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers who contributed generously at the Keegan harambee to enable the Committee fulfil its mandate. The Committee would like to thank everybody who attended the “Open Houses” plus anybody who contributed in any way to the success of the Committee’s mission. In this respect, the Committee would like to Report that the total amount of cash that was raised during the whole exercise was SEK 75.000 and for this achievement, everybody who was involved takes credit.
Just like with any Committee, there were positive vibes during the fund raising process and negative vibes. Since this is the final Report, the Committee has come to the conclusion that in this final Report, it needs to come to a closure by updating the public about certain key developments which could not be reported as they were happening because of strategic reasons.
The positive side has already been reported – that the Committee’s mandate was fulfilled. The Committee regrets to announce that as the fund raising continued, several set-backs were also playing themselves out in the background, set-backs that the Committee decided to sit on for the sake of transporting Keegan’s body to Kenya. Although some details here may shock Kenyans who contributed generously, the Committee believes that it is time to let Kenyans know the difficulties the Committee experienced at the hands of the Keegan family, namely Keegan’s ex-wife and his eldest daughter.
Immediately after the fund raising, many Kenya-Stockholmers may have been unaware that despite enough cash having been raised to transport Keegan’s body to Kenya, the late Keegan may have been buried in Sweden because of family interference.
Immediately after the harambee on 7th December, a meeting was called at Keegan’s residence between the Committee and Keegan’s family to establish how the SEK 75.000 cash that had been raised would be spent. The meeting was attended by Keegan’s ex-wife, his eldest daughter and Committee members namely Chairman Sandy, Sofia Njoroge, Githuku wa Muirani, Steve Khadir and Keegan’s mother. At the meeting, the bankrolling of SEK 9.000 was deducted from the total amount, leaving a balance of SEK 66.000. Out of this amount, SEK 45.000 was deducted for body transportation cost leaving a balance of SEK 21.000. The ticket for Keegan’s mother was then deducted at SEK 6,000 leaving a balance of SEK 15.000.
At this point, the Committee recommended that Keegan’s family and Keegan’s mother retreat to the kitchen to decide how the balance of SEK 15,000 could be spent. The families never retreated to the kitchen but decided that Keegan’s mother be advanced SEK 5,000 to help with funeral expenses while the daughters could get the balance of SEK 10,000 for two tickets. At that time, tickets were going for SEK 4.800 each and when the meeting ended, the Committee members were happy that the meeting had ended amicably. Prayers were then held to seal the meeting after which Keegan’s family was given the contribution book to scrutinize and Report on any anomalies. It is after this meeting that the situation began to change dramatically, much to the chagrin of Committee members.
Tension between Committee and Keegan’s family
Keegan’s family started spreading propaganda among members of the Kenyan community in Stockholm to the effect that the Committee “had eaten money”. The family’s argument was that a total of SEK 75.000 had been raised but that the SEK 10.000 that had been advanced to the family could not buy two tickets. As far as the Committee is concerned, the spreading of the propaganda was being engineered by Keegan’s ex whom, the Committee believes, was pumping her daughter to make life difficult for the Committee and to try and tarnish the good names of Committee members.
According to the propaganda, the Committee had “eaten” SEK 9,000 while as they gave their version of the story, the family alleged that the Committee had advanced SEK 5.000 to Keegan’s mother knowing well that the SEK 10,000 the daughters had been given could not buy two tickets. The view of the family was that at the minimum, the Committee needed to recover cash that had been given to Keegan’s mother so that it could be added to the SEK 10,000 to enable the daughters purchase tickets to Kenya. The view of the Committee was that at the time cash was distributed, tickets were going for SEK 4.800 but after the family delayed with bookings for almost one week, the price of tickets also shot up thereby complicating the situation.
The position of the Committee was that cash that had been advanced to Keegan’s mother to help with funeral expenses in Kenya had been advanced through mutual consent at a meeting and could not therefore be recovered. Besides, the Committee’s view was that Mama Keegan needed cash while in Kenya and that it was immature for the family to have demanded that the cash be recovered because then, Mama Keegan could not have been able to sort out funeral expenses in Kenya. Although the Keegan family went full throttle on the propaganda front, the Keegan Committee could not hit back publicly because such a move could have hurt the process of transporting Keegan’s body to Kenya.
In fact, tension between the Committee and Keegan’s family began much earlier when Keegan’s ex allegedly refused to attend the inaugural meeting to plan Keegan’s harambee at Keegan’s residence. Secondly, the Committee was extremely disappointed with Keegan’s eldest daughter because when Keegan was on his death bed, the daughter was alerted and advised to rush to hospital because her father wanted to talk to her but she refused, allegedly arguing that she had an appointment at the salon which she could not miss. The dad passed away moments later although sources say that Keegan’s younger daughter did make it to hospital just before her dad passed away.
The Committee believes that the failure of Keegan’s ex to attend the inaugural Keegan harambee meeting contributed to the chaos that erupted at the meeting, leading to the unceremonious exit of two Kenyans, namely Jared Odero and Gerry Midenyo from the meeting. The main problem was that the Committee found it bizarre to begin a meeting to discuss Keegan’s funeral without the presence of a single family member. The expectation of Keegan’s Committee was that with the attendance of Keegan’s ex (who had indicated to the Committee that she was interested in joining the Committee as the mother of Keegan’s children), the family would be represented. This did not happen and the meeting proceeded without a single family member because Keegan’s mother was still in Kenya. The Committee believes that the exit of Jared and Gerry from the meeting following rants by an alcoholic Kenyan woman could have been contained if there was a family member at the meeting.
Bogus Club 1000 member and Keegan family debts
In view of the adverse, dirty and negative propaganda that the Keegan family (especially Keegan’s ex) has been spreading across Kenya-Stockholm, the Keegan Committee believes that it needs to update the public about the full development of events before, during and after Keegan’s death.
Although she continues to seek sympathy from Wakenya with one-sided stories crafted to put her at an advantageous position in relation to the Committee, the Keegan family did not play any key role before, during and after the fund raising. Keegan’s ex is known to have questioned the refund of bank rolling cash but the reality is that she never contributed a coin towards the bankrolling in the first place. The Committee would like to state that it has no quarrel with Keegan’s two daughters because it believes that whatever the daughters did to cast aspersions on the integrity of the Committee or to undermine it was as a result of their mother’s influence.
The experience the Committee had with the family was that of disruption, negative propaganda, shocking distortion of facts and sheer sabotage. It is worth mentioning that although she was a member of the Keegan Club 100 (having signed her name), Keegan’s ex never contributed a coin towards the harambee. Instead, records show that the family has an outstanding debt of SEK 600 incurred out of the beer account which, to date, has never been sorted. At first, the Committee thought that these issues could be resolved privately “family style” but with the family having embarked on an onslaught against the Committee, the public needs to know every minute detail of events. The Committee has to be transparent and accountable. This mission is impossible without full disclosure. Any questions should be directed to Committee.
Keegan funeral Committee in Stockholm
In the next installment on Monday, February 24th 2014, find out how Keegan’s body was almost buried in Sweden after enough cash was raised to transport the body to Kenya. It is an intriguing tale packed with tension, drama and wild surprise!
February 21, 2014
This is to inform Kenyans and friends alike that Mildred, the wife of Okulo Masala, a Kenyan resident in Stockholm, lost his brother in Kenya yesterday morning following a short illness thereby plunging the family into deep mourning. According to Mr. Okulo, the brother in Law, will be buried on Saturday, 1st March 2014 and he will travel to Kenya to attend the funeral.
Speaking to KSB, Mr. Okulo said that he needs at least Ksh 300.000 to sort out all expenses including burial. Consequently, the family appeals to friends, sympathizers and well-wishers to show solidarity with the family by making any contribution to help off-set the huge bill that the family has to deal with. The contributions can be made through SEB account number 523600044117.
KSB sends deep condolences to the entire family of Mr. Okulo during this time of great shock and sorrow. The tragedy of death knows no boundaries and this time it has struck the humble Okulo family. We hope that the family will find strength and courage to go through this very difficult and trying moment.
Mr. Okulo is a progressive Kenyan in Stockholm who has been of tremendous help to many Kenyans especially during times of bereavement. Just as many Kenyans will testify, Mr. Okulo has been offering a venue located near his residence for free to Kenyans and friends during harambees although this time round, it is the family that has been struck by the cruel hands of death which has suddenly taken away a loved one.
Those who wish to send messages of condolences can reach the bereaved family through 0764453852. Any further information will be transmitted as it becomes available.
NB: In the first Report, we erroneously reported that it is Okulo’s wife in Kenya who had passed away. Mr. Okulo has since corrected the error and stated that it is his brother in Law. We regret any inconveniences to the Okulo family which may have been caused by the inadvertent error.
February 20, 2014
Dekula Band “Ngoma Ya Kilo”
Date: 28th Feb & 01st March 2014
Address: Swedenborgsg. 20
Pendel: Södra Station
Dekula Band new CD is coming soon
February 20, 2014
On March 12, 2009, I attended a presentation by Dr. Henning Melber at the Institute for Security & Development Policy (ISDP) in Stockholm. Dr. Melber is Senior Advisor and Director Emeritus of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Uppsala, Sweden. He revisited the Sino-African relations debate by looking at the implications of the global financial crisis and how it could affect Africa. “What’s in it for the African people and not just their governments?” asked Dr. Melber. He felt that securing a common platform on such issues was very important.
Dr. Melber, who considers himself “a free speaker”, expressed his thoughts openly and even lodged a scathing attack on the West which for many years, has seen Africa as its own backyard. He gave an overview of the Sino-African relations, stressing that historically, the Chinese have been for the emancipation of Africans: supporting the losers in various political struggles, and not the winners. Western Europeans on the other hand, have a record of suppression, slavery, and scrambling for Africa’s resources, which they continue to exploit heavily. To emphasize the level of exploitation, Dr. Melber referred the audience to Walter Rodney’s book titled: ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’.
The speaker felt that suspicions, aversions and other negative responses had initially dominated the discourse on Sino-African relations for a period, but currently, there is more calm. The fear of the unknown is common at the beginning of bilateral cooperation, but since China changed its policy and became familiar with issues pertaining to the collaboration, it has become significantly good. China slightly improved its policy after being criticized for supporting the Sudanese government during the war in Darfur.
The Chinese have had an indirect presence in Africa through building sports arenas and the well-known Tazara Railway, which they built to connect Tanzania and Zambia for the copper trade. This is a great infrastructural landmark. The Chinese approach is through friendship, politeness and respect. During the past few years, their top leaders have traveled to Africa to acknowledge their friendship; something that very few Western leaders have done, despite having dominated bilateral issues for years with the Africans.
Chinese leaders do not wag their fingers at African leaders and do implement the policy of non-interference. China is therefore becoming a preferable partner in bilateral relations. There was an increase in capital investments from the West to China in the 1990s. In Africa, this increase was notable through Chinese companies contracted by companies in the West. By 2009, there were around 800 Chinese private companies in 49 African countries. They had minimum rules and regulations which should not violate the Chinese government rules and were given government security just like those from the Western countries.
Double-standards are quite visible in the way Westerners regard Sino-African relations. They criticize them yet do the same. The West was not very strict when the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre took place and continued trading with China as usual. Sweden also follows a “value-oriented” policy which is a Nordic model, yet is unethical in some instances, like the suspected bribes during the sale of Swedish jets to South Africa over a decade ago. Economic interest seems to be heavier than other values and they still trade with rogue governments.
Former President Mobutu of then-Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), committed atrocities yet the Belgians, French and the USA traded with him for many years, at the expense of the Congolese people. Nothing has been said openly by the West about the conduct of King Mswati III of Swaziland. Further, Somalia and Somaliland got onto the world map when Somali pirates began hijacking ships with expensive cargo owned by the West, being transported across the Indian Ocean. There lacks a coherent perspective on human rights and the West should be criticized as much as China. “Who is the West to lecture China on moral conduct yet they do the same?” wondered Dr. Melber.
Rapid industrialization in China
In 1997, China’s trade turnover in Africa was between 5 to 55.5 billion US dollars, making it the third biggest trade partner after USA and Britain. In 2005, the turnover was USD 105 billion, a volume that was expected in 2010. Moreover, India and China controlled the highest dollar reserves outside USA, amounting to three trillion US dollars. A high dollar value is good for their exports. Africa’s economy means a lot for China to boost its rising demand for oil, gas and other minerals.
During their recent entry on the continent, the Chinese invested immensely in Southern Africa, thus reviving the Zambian copper mining industry and Namibia’s diamond industry, which used to have a lucrative market in China. However, since the beginning of the current financial crisis, the mining industry has plummeted and many mines have closed in Zambia and Namibia. Half of Namibia’s economy is fuelled by diamonds. In the diamond-rich country of Botswana, things are just as bad because the global demand for diamonds has reduced drastically due to the deteriorating economy. Diamond owners might instead sell them for cash, which would affect the country badly, since 80-90% of its economy depends on it. Growth rates in Africa projected at 7-10% per annum are likely to be halved.
During the March 2009 “Changes Conference” in Dar-es-Salaam, organized jointly by the government of Tanzania and the International Monetary Fund, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said this about the financial crisis: “We could be facing the economic equivalent of a tsunami.” In Angola, profits generated from vast oil and gas resources are not ploughed back to elevate the majority of citizens from poverty. Poverty has been reduced in China, while it is on the rise in Africa. Therefore, Sino-African relations might not have a “trickle down effect” on many Africans after all.
Dr. Melber recalled that during the 2007 World Social Forum (WSF) in Nairobi, a Chinese civil society delegation attempted to ‘lecture’ Africans on human rights and met the wrath of some seasoned Africans, who were quite aware of the Chinese penetration into petty trade in Africa. They were informed of how they had entered into competition with hawkers by flooding many African markets with their cheap goods. They were told that their trade methods were worse than the Europeans’ because they even brought cheap labor from China, and did not employ local laborers.
The Chinese have a monolithic policy which is not modeled to deal with outside matters. On the other hand, the Westerners have a policy of enhancing democracy. For instance, there are common interactions among social movements in America, Europe and Africa, while the Chinese do not interact with the local people when they come to Africa. The unknown is always threatening and this is why the degree of racism towards the Chinese in some parts of Africa is extreme. Dr. Melber referred to the textile industry in Togo which is almost collapsing, since the Chinese entered to compete by selling their cheap clothes. The Togolese refer to them as: “The Chinese Devils”. The Chinese have forged friendly relations with many African countries, but not the ordinary Africans. Although many aspects of life in China are still strictly regulated, more Chinese are now able to travel abroad as tourists, and might gradually understand other cultures.
China has big plans for Africa and in the recent past has been offering massive soft loans and grants. Is this sustainable amidst the current financial crisis? Will these loans harm Africa? There is an upward spiral in mineral and oil-rich countries like Angola because of China’s demands, yet there is an imbalance of trade which involves the exploitation of natural resources like oil and gas at 62% and other minerals at 13%. However, African governments must also share the profits widely by improving the infrastructure and the people’s wellbeing.
China is among the top three exporters of arms to Africa and in 2008 was forced, after worldwide pressure, to recall its “Ship of Shame” – a term coined for the ship that had exported massive weapons to Zimbabwe after the botched presidential elections.
Remarkable policy change has been noted from China in the case of Darfur. However, more is required. Economic development needs to go hand in hand with democracy, accountability and human rights. Democracy and participation in societal values are required in Africa for prosperity.
The European-Chinese-African discourse seeks to reconcile issues and shape policy even at the European Union level. Is the Chinese presence in Africa an alternative? So far, China offers more options for Africa but might still bring “more of the same interest” like the West.
February 19, 2014
February 16, 2014
The Tonny Odera Funeral Committee would like to inform all contributors and the public that following the last update, there were new developments that precipitated changes in the final accounting. The following is the final update of the accounts.
After the publication of the last Report, the Committee received contributions from four Kenyans namely: Nelly Musira, Martin Ngatia, Teresa Mawa and Nancy Osumba. The new contributions totaled 1500kr and together with the initial amount of 12.315, the final figure is 13.815kr. From this amount, SEK 5.400 was used in the purchase of a ticket for Tonny who travelled to Kenya on Monday, February 10th 2014 leaving a balance of SEK 8.415.
From this amount, there were certain overhead expenses incurred before Tonny left for Kenya. Telephone communication to Kenya cost SEK 200, transport to Arlanda cost SEK 220 while parking fees at Arlanda cost SEK 80 bringing total costs to SEK 500. The final amount given to Tonny to help with funeral expenses was therefore SEK 7.915.
From this amount, SEK 915 was converted into Kenyan shillings and given to Tonny as he left for Kenya while the balance of SEK 7.000 was sent to him through Ria Money Transfer Services. The Committee’s strategy was to reduce risks by reducing the volume of cash carried by Tonny during his transit to Kenya. This strategy was endorsed at the fund raising on Saturday, 8th February 2014 and was announced by Marine Engineer, Okulo Masala.
Following the announcement of Tonny’s bereavement, a bank account was advertised and contributors were encouraged to deposit funds in that account. The Committee was later updated that the account in question did not belong to Tonny but to a friend of Tonny. The Committee would like to state that the funds that have so far been accounted for do not include any funds that may have been deposited in that account.
This is because the account holder turned hostile when contacted by the Committee for an update of the flow of harambee funds in the account. The account holder never attended the fund raising on 8th February and there was no report while after he turned hostile, the Committee cut off communication with him because he wanted to be left in peace.
Before consultations broke down, the account holder told the Committee that he was in touch with Tonny and that he would only take instructions from him. The Committee had contacted him with a view to including any funds that may have been deposited in the account in the final totals. The last word between the account holder and the Committee was that the account holder would account for any funds deposited in the account while the Committee would account for funds raised at the Harambee on Saturday 8th February after which the account holder banged the phone. That was after the account holder admitted that some Tonny cash had been deposited in his account.
The account holder is known to be a cool guy and it was impossible to understand why he went berserk when asked to report about harambee developments in his account. In a very emotional tone akin to someone bracing for real battle, he not only accused the Committee of not trusting him but reiterated that he was a mature and transparent person who had no problem with accountability. In fact, he sounded like someone who could pull punches if the conversation was taking place live and under the circumstances, the Committee decided to leave him alone so that he could deal with the matter in his own way.
Since Tonny left for Kenya, the Committee has been in touch with him and he has reported that the burial proceeded well on Saturday 15th February 2014. Tonny is expected back in Stockholm on February 23rd. Once again, the Committee would like to thank everybody who made the harambee exercise a big success.
Tonny Odera Funeral Committee