Archive | January, 2012

Valentine’s Night in Stockholm: 18th February 2012

January 31, 2012

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valentine 2012

Scand Afric’s Valentines Day Special is back. The event, which pulled a huge number of couples last year, is expected to thrill all guests who will be present because it has been made very special. This time, the organisers promise a bigger, better and even more enjoyable evening.

The 2012 Valentines Day Special will take place at Vretensborgvägen 21 (Västberg Stockholm). This year’s event will be more colourfull as more prizes are lined up for the different couples who will be in attendance. Dress to kill!

Most importantly, it will be a partying night with music by known Djs: Jamal, Richie and Blaze who will blast the loud speakers all night long as you boogie down with your loved one, and show love on a special day that is globally devoted to love, romance and eternal bliss between couple’s so don’t leave your lover behind yeah!

May be, you are still looking around for that Mr/Mrs RIGHT! Come to the party because it is the perfect place for the only window-shopping in the world where you can walk away with a lover, just because you were at the right place at the right time and said the right things in the right ears.

Don’t get it wrong. Love will never come looking for you in your cabin. You have to make a move and look for it somehow. If you are already lucky and you have your lover in your arms; you have been together for good and for worse; why not come for the only annual treat devoted to the two of you and the global community of lovers? Valentine’s Day Special is the name of the event and the venue is Vretensborgvägen 21 in Stockholm. Scand Afric wellcomes everybody to the Lovers Party!

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Double Murder Update: Nyambu’s Verdict Delayed

January 30, 2012

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The verdict against the woman in Sigtuna who killed her two children in September last year is delayed. The National Social Welfare Board will first have a further assessment of her mental status, writes Radio Stockholm. Previously, a psychiatric evaluation showed that the mother is mentally ill, but the National Board would like to get a ‘second opinion’ from their own specialist in forensic psychiatry. The investigation shall be completed on 8th March 2012, and only after that, can the Attunda District Court decide on the verdict.

SOURCE

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Forget Presidency, Gitari Tells Uhuru

January 30, 2012

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When Mr. Martin Ngatia, Chairman of Kenya Red Alliance (KRA) first said in Fenruary last year that Uhuru Kenyatta will never rule Kenya, some critics countered that this was all KRA propaganda. One year later, the chorus for Uhuru Kenyatta to forget the Presidency has picked steam as both Uhuru and Ruto continue to fool themselves that they can stand and be elected President of Kenya. What did Mr. Ngatia say?

By George Olwenya and Kepher Otieno

Retired Anglican Archbishop David Gitari has called on Uhuru Kenyatta to relinquish his Deputy Prime Minister’s post and forget about the presidency. Gitari told Uhuru and Eldoret North MP William Ruto to accept the reality that they will not be in the presidential race as long as they stand indicted by the International Criminal Court.

“Let us not cheat ourselves, Uhuru will have to relinquish the Deputy Prime Minister’s post,” he said.

He maintained that there were other leaders from Central Province who can take over Uhuru’s portfolio.

“How can you resign as the Minister for Finance and remain the Deputy Prime Minister,” he posed.

People of integrity

Gitari at the same time differed with politicians calling for Uhuru and Ruto to be allowed to vie for presidency, saying that they will have to be cleared by the courts first.

The retired prelate called on Kenyans to ensure that only people of integrity are entrusted with leadership.

Speaking at Bondo University College grounds where he was the chief guest during the 18th anniversary of the doyen of opposition politics Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Gitari said selfishness and tribalism must not be allowed in the management of public affairs.

He said the next crop of leaders, from County Assembly representatives to the presidency, must be people of integrity, God fearing and not corrupt.

Gitari supported Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s quest for presidency, saying he had the qualities of a good leader.

“There are leaders who have been tested and found to be fit to lead,” he said.

Those present included Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, Cabinet ministers James Orengo and Dr Paul Otuoma, MPs Alfred Khangati, Jakoyo Midiwo, Edwin Yinda, Nicholas Gumbo, Oburu Oginga and Ayiecho Olweny.

Meanwhile, Bumula MP Bifwoli Wakoli argues that Chapter six of the new Constitution will not allow any Kenyan involved in a criminal case to vie for any elective seat.

“You can be popular but the Constitution bars you from contesting and I could be unpopular but clean. Don’t be surprised that the man talking to you this afternoon could be your next president,” he said.

He made the remarks at the weekend at Maridadi village in Kwanza, Trans Nzoia County, during the burial of the mother-in-law to the Minister for Forestry, Dr Noah Wekesa.

-Additional reporting by Osinde Obare

Source: East African Standard

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Food Crisis in Kenya: Another of President Mwai Kibaki’s Failures: Part 1

January 30, 2012

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Starvation in Kenya is a consequence of Kibaki's failure in leadership

Lack of political will to make Kenya food secure is a major factor in the recurring food crisis. Famine, drought and high food prices are prevalent within the crisis, and often result in human and livestock fatalities. President Mwai Kibaki has failed to provide long-term solutions to avert predictable hunger and food shortage, and instead put sections of the country in a state of high dependency on food aid. During his decade of many unfulfilled promises, he declared drought and famine ‘a national disaster’ at least four times.

On July 13, 2004 Kibaki declared that period’s drought which had caused 60 per cent crop failure in five provinces, a national disaster. Up to 4.3 million adults and 1.5 million children would need food aid for the next six months. He then appealed for both local and international food donation and funding. Kibaki said, during that year alone, the government had distributed food worth KSh1.5 billion, and required a further $32 million (KSh2.56 billion) to provide water, sanitation, health and nutrition, agriculture, livestock and education. A shortage of four million bags of maize was also predicted for the next harvest.

That same year, the then Justice and Constitutional Affairs assistant minister Robinson Githae, told Kenyans to diversify their eating habits and start eating ants, rats, donkeys and other edibles, to get rid of hunger as others did elsewhere in Africa. Kenyans felt insulted by his remarks, which reflected a high level of arrogance and asked whether he ate such food. He defended his call by saying: “When you are facing starvation, you should eat anything and everything you can find. Even God will not forgive you if you starve.” Regardless, it was reminiscent of the journalistic cliché – “Let them eat cake”, controversially attributed to Marie Antoinette, who was Queen of France during the French Revolution, and thought to have cared less about her starving subjects. Githae was also perceived as insensitive to cultural and religious beliefs which influence the eating habits of Kenyans. His reaction was typical of Kenyan lawmakers who usually opt for easy answers to the country’s insurmountable crises.

When President Kibaki was delivering his new year’s address in January 2006, he once again declared then-ongoing famine in parts of the country, a national disaster. Up to 2.5 million people would need famine relief, estimated to cost KSh11 billion ($151 million). Prolonged drought had caused crop failure and livestock losses. He appealed to local and international partners to assist Government’s efforts to help those affected. Other areas which required urgent help were the provision of water, healthcare, restocking of livestock, education and provision of seeds to farmers for the next crop season. In the arid eastern and northern parts of the country, more than 30 people and hundreds of livestock had already died within three months of the drought.

In January 2009, Kibaki yet again declared that period’s drought and famine a national disaster, and launched an appeal to raise over KSh37 billion to address the situation. Around 10 million Kenyans were then food insecure and the government would import 7 million bags of maize at the cost of KSh17 billion to mitigate the crisis.

The latest national disaster declaration was on May 30, 2011 when President Kibaki mentioned that due to the persistent drought, necessary interventions be put in place within the relevant ministries to assist affected citizens. It was the usual appeal for relief food. The government would allocate Ksh1 billion for livestock off-take and provide an additional KSh600 million to the Water ministry, to facilitate efficient transportation of water to the people and livestock.

The politics of hunger, drought and famine
Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy and contributes 24 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) directly. It is also the country’s top foreign exchange earner, contributing around 60 per cent of export earnings from tea and coffee. Kenya’s main staple food is maize, though there are other cereals like rice, wheat, millet and sorghum.   Around 75 per cent of Kenyans participate in agriculture, which makes it the most important economic sector in the country (see kenya.usaid.gov). It is therefore preposterous that an agrarian economy like Kenya is constantly undergoing a food crisis.

In his book: ‘Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (1981), Amrtya Sen, the 1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics, demonstrated that “famine occurs not only from a lack of food, but from inequalities built into mechanisms for distributing food.” This means that there are other underlying social and economic factors which lead to starvation within some groups in society, such as: declining wages, unemployment, rising food prices, and poor food-distribution systems.

In the 2010 report of a joint international mission by the African Network on the Right to Food (RAPDA) and Human Rights Organization on the Right to food (FIAN) titled: ‘Kenya’s hunger crisis – the result of right to food violations’, it was found that a number of structural problems contributed to drought and man-made emergencies, which led to famine. However, cases of extreme famine in the past four years were due to periods of failed rains and the impact of post-election violence in 2007. These findings were from a research mission undertaken on September 20-26, 2009. The investigating team visited various parts of Kenya and spoke to community representatives in hunger-prone areas; policy makers; individuals at national and local levels; non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs). The results indicated a widespread food insecurity situation that left very few communities unaffected.

Some of the underlying structural problems identified by the mission included:

•    A high level of inequality in Kenya.
•    Exclusion of the poor and vulnerable groups from the social, economic and political spheres.
•    Widespread corruption and nepotism.
•    A lack of investment in sustainable agriculture.
•    A fragmented and contradictory legislative and policy framework.

The above contexts point to the government’s failure “to adhere to its obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the right to food as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and other international and regional human rights instruments” (Page 5).

On January 16, 2006 newspaper reporter Otsieno Namwaya wrote an exclusive article in the East African Standard titled, ‘Kenya: Playing politics with hunger’. He investigated, analyzed and proved that ministers in Kibaki’s administration, their cronies and top government officials, benefited financially from the political economy of famine. This was evident in the licensing of companies awarded contracts to supply maize to famine-stricken areas in 2004, by then-Agriculture minister, Kipruto arap Kirwa. The government’s tendering process had been egregiously flouted in the selection of companies which imported the maize, as noted later in a Parliamentary Investments Committee report. During that period, around 39 people and an unknown number of livestock died.

The 2004 famine-national-disaster declaration which required KSh4 billion was never lifted and in 2005, another disaster was declared by the government, aiming to raise KSh11 billion to fight the famine. Meanwhile, investigations revealed that over one million bags of maize laid idle, some of it rotting, at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) silos in North Rift, while many Kenyans starved elsewhere. The reason was lack of storage space because the silos were full of the last season’s harvest. There were 450,000 bags at the NCPB branch in Kitale and another 450,000 at the Moi’s Bridge depot.

Farmers were being turned away with truckloads of newly-harvested maize and had to sell them to private companies at throwaway prices. Some threatened to export their maize to Uganda if the government was not willing to buy from them. There were over 300,000 bags of maize stored at two privately owned stores in Kitale and frustrated farmers had to sell at half the regular price which was KSh800, instead of KSh1,600. The government was faulted for being unprepared whenever the time for purchasing maize came. The Finance ministry also delayed in releasing the money budgeted for buying maize. The cost of fertilizer had also risen, making maize production expensive, yet corruption hindered farmers from recovering their money through government purchases.

The then Mandera MP Billow Kerrow, revealed that NCPB officials colluded with some businesspeople so that they could sell their stocks first. It was therefore intentional when they failed to transport maize to silos in the famine-stricken areas. But the Ministry of Agriculture was the worst, because it was responsible for purchasing and distributing maize to various parts of Kenya, yet was not doing so. He also cited political manipulation as a factor in the widespread famine. “There are people who played politics with food in my constituency in the lead up to the [2005 constitutional] referendum. A lot of food was diverted and sold to finance the Banana campaign ahead of the referendum. That is why people are dying for lack of food,” he said.

Then-nominated MP Professor Ruth Oniang’o, claimed that corruption drove the politics of maize and food, with ministers cashing in on the unfortunate situation to make money. “Declaring a famine that has stalked us for the better part of the year a national disaster is so that donors can move in with money. But this is ironical because there is a food surplus. This is abusing the goodwill from donors. It will not be surprising if it turns out that the companies that will be given tenders to either import or ferry maize to the famine-stricken regions at the expense of donors and Kenyan taxpayers, are owned by ministers and senior government officials,” she said. She hails from western Kenya which had surplus maize rotting at that time. To be continued in Part 2.

Jared Odero

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Flashback: Stolen Presidency Interview Part 1

January 28, 2012

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Kenya: The Myth of Peace in a Conflict Zone Exposed

January 28, 2012

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Kenya's peace in a conflict zone is a myth

Despite peace and tranquillity in Kenya, Uganda, its neighbour, has been to war on many occasions, wars that led to the killing of thousands of Ugandans and the destruction of millions worth of property. In 1971, Idi Amin seized power through a military coup and for the next decade, the dictator presided over a brutal regime that led to the slaughter of an estimated 300,000 Ugandans. In 1979, Amin was overthrown by Tanzanian forces that launched an offensive together with a group of Ugandan rebels. After the invasion, former President Milton Obote regained power but in 1985, Obote was deposed once again by General Tito Okello who ruled the country for six months. When Okello took power, Yoweri Museveni was waging a guerrilla war from the bush with his National Resistance Movement (NRM) and during the dying moments of Okello’s rule, peaceful Kenya provided a platform where a peace deal was signed between Museveni and Okello. The deal collapsed after Museveni set it aside and seized power with his forces, forcing Okello to flee to exile. After Museveni took over the Ugandan State machine with much jubilation and support from Ugandans, Museveni continued to engage in both internal and external wars. Within the country, he began to fight against a new rebel group calling itself the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) that was being led by Alice Lakwena while Museveni also engaged in fratricidal wars in both the Democratic Republic of Congo (DCR) and the Great Lakes Region. Throughout this period, Kenya was considered a peaceful country due to lack of armed conflicts.

Tanzania, another country that borders Kenya, has been relatively peaceful and there is no recent and major internal or external conflict that can be cited. However, as Idi Amin’s dictatorship turned bloodier with new murders and assassination of opponents, Amin made a big miscalculation and invaded Tanzanian territory with a military agenda of expanding Uganda’s borders. President Julius Nyerere not only repulsed Amin’s forces but also took the war right inside Uganda. At the time of the Tanzanian repulsion, the poorly armed Ugandan army had degenerated to a rag-tag army suffering from war fatigue and disorientation due to lack of direction and war agenda. Eventually, the anti-Amin war by Tanzanian forces accorded Museveni the strategic advantage of moving into Uganda to take over the country’s leadership. Kenya remained peaceful as Museveni moved into Kampala to seize power by force.

Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan
Somalia, another country neighbouring Kenya, is a country that has been at constant war, especially after the fall of the Mohammed Said Barre regime who ruled the country between 1986 and 1991. For more than a decade, Somalia has been without a government because different armed groups have been fighting to control the country. The result has been unprecedented chaos, insecurity, death and destruction. At the time of writing, Somalia was still at war with no clear signals that the war would soon come to an end. Resolutions by the UN and imperialist interventions have been unable to stop the war because of the complexity of forces involved. Consequently, millions of Somali refugees who have left the country since the outbreak of war have moved out through peaceful Kenya. Kenya is itself home to thousands of Somalis (Kenya-Somalis) and the naturalization process of Somali refugees in Kenya has been smooth because of this factor.

During the years of conflict in Somalia, Kenya provided a safe base for peace negotiations in Nairobi, which saw through an agreement that resulted in the election of a compromise President — Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. Unfortunately, peace did not return to Somalia as had been expected. This was because the Somali warlords continued to control territory, making it difficult for a new government to be set up in Somalia. Frustrated that Islamic terrorists would continue using Somalia for their operations by taking advantage of chaos occasioned by lack of government, the United States collaborated with the Ethiopian government to attack Somalia and sweep away the warlords. While the strategy succeeded, the problem that was left behind is that members of the Islamic courts, who were displaced by Ethiopian forces, have refused to disappear and fighting continues between these and Ethiopian forces.

Death and destruction continues while ships along the shores of Somalia have repeatedly fallen victim to piracy. Instability in that country continues. Because of the prevailing peace in Kenya, numerous humanitarian operations have been based in Kenya and when the post-election chaos erupted in Kenya, there were serious concerns on how the situation in the country would impact humanitarian operations in Somalia. When the focus is turned on Ethiopia, one is reminded of the thirty-year war between the Ethiopian government and the Eritrean Liberation Movement, a war that ended when Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia and became the newest State in Africa. Throughout this war, there was relative peace in Kenya, save for incidences of the “Shifta war” that raged in North Eastern Province during the 80s. In a crude attempt to contain what the Moi government called the “Shifta menace,” Kenyan security forces massacred more than 400 Somali Muslims who were believed to be supporters of the “Shifters.” The attack occurred on February 10, 1984, and created what is today known as the “Wagalla massacre.”

The Ethiopian-Eritrea war raged against a background of relative peace in Kenya and the Kenyan government ensured that it remained neutral in the war so as not to antagonize neighbours. This brings us to Sudan, another neighbour of Kenya, which has also had its share of wars as Kenya remained peaceful. For almost thirty years, the Islamic government in Khartoum fought the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which had been fighting for autonomy in Southern Sudan. The conflict stemmed from opposition of Southern Sudanese (who are Christians) to domination by Islamic government in Khartoum. Because Kenya remained peaceful throughout this war, Nairobi became the base of choice when the two sides decided to go for a negotiated settlement to the decades-old conflict. The peace deal was eventually signed and some degree of peace was achieved in Sudan. This opened the way for self rule in Southern Sudan.

Raging conflicts in Kenya
From the above summary, Kenya earned its reputation as a “peaceful country” in a conflict zone. From a military point of view, Kenya has been peaceful but from a political, social and economic perspective, a longstanding internal conflict has been raging in Kenya for decades. When elections were rigged, the dynamics of this silent conflict exploded in the streets by way of violence, looting of property, senseless killings and wanton destruction of property to a level that has never been witnessed in Kenya before and to proportions that shocked the international community. Millions of observers inside and outside Kenya could not comprehend how such a peaceful and tranquil country that “has enjoyed prosperity” could suddenly explode with uncontrolled violence just because elections had been rigged.

The battle that has been raging in Kenya and that rarely finds effective expression in the world media is the battle between the rich and the poor, the “haves” and the “have nots,” the exploited and the exploiter, the powerful and the powerless, the wealth grabbers and the robbed, the bellyful wanabenzi and the hungry, the millionaire tycoons and the beggars in the streets, those with food on the table and those starving, the business community and the paupers, the fat land grabbers and the landless, the tiny wealthy ruling class and the army of unemployed youth. A huge but silent conflict has been raging between these different groups and classes of Kenyans and the rigging of elections simply acted as a catalyst to bring this war into the open and before the international community.

The post-election violence that erupted across the country was a result of election rigging but it was also tied to growing inequalities in the Kenyan society, mass poverty, mass unemployment, lack of opportunities especially for the youth, spiralling inflation, starvation of vast sections of the population, poor remuneration of workers who live on starvation wages, lack of housing, which has created huge slums in urban areas, social frustrations, lack of clean drinking water, collapse of public infrastructure due to looting of the economy, corruption in high places, and a host of other vices that have ravaged the lives of millions of Kenyans, especially the youth who were defying live bullets fired by police in the streets in the name of change. The December 2007 election was about the departure of President Mwai Kibaki and the gang of thieves that surrounded the President. Millions of voters who opted for ODM believed that once this economic terror gang was ousted from power, it would be possible to address ways of ending the root causes of the suffering of millions of Kenyans who have to go without food, drinking water and shelter above their heads on a daily basis.

The war between the rich and the poor is grounded on theft of public resources by those in power in the face of collapsing social services across the country and the lavish lifestyles led by the rich using money stolen from the poor taxpayer. Exploitation of Kenyans by local and international capitalists who have acquired every profitable enterprise in Kenya for themselves, corruption within the government by fat cats surrounding the President and the ruthlessness of the so-called “business community” are vices that ODM supporters in the streets expected to be addressed as they voted for the Party.

After years of suffering under one rotten regime after another — Kenyatta, Moi, Kibaki — and after decades of tolerance, Kenyans who voted for Raila Odinga as President believed that the country was ripe for a new breed of leadership that could help transform the country after old guards who joined politics in 1963 converted the country into a private business enterprise where they could act illegally and at any front without accountability. These political gangsters have been enjoying an upper hand in the politico-socio-economic conflict because of two reasons: control of the State machine and lack of political organization and mobilization of exploited Kenyans to fight back. When ODM came into the scene, the organizational element of the downtrodden in Kenya also fell into place. In the eyes of ODM supporters who were mainly the youth, prospects of an overthrow of the rotten Kibaki-controlled Kikuyu ruling class that took over from the equally rotten Moi-controlled Kalenjin ruling class that in turn, took over from the rotten Kenyatta-controlled Kikuyu ruling class became real. The cumulative anger and frustration resulting from a protracted mass struggle against the rich owners of capital is what exploded in the streets across Kenya when it dawned on millions of youth that their expectations would not be addressed because Kibaki and PNU had stolen Raila Odinga’s Presidency through Kibaki-appointed ECK to illegally return to power in order to maintain the unacceptable and retrogressive political status quo.

Basis for future conflicts and social explosions in Kenya
Under Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki, Kenya has been a country where everything has been on sale including Justice in the courts and basic social services because of corruption. There are hospitals for the rich and the poor. There are schools for the rich and the poor. There are social gathering places for the rich and the poor. There are markets for the rich and the poor. Almost every aspect of life in Kenya is divided into rich vs. poor categories. Of course, this is the situation in every country where the political system of government is driven by rotten capitalism. The purpose of this analogy is to argue that below the aura of peace in Kenya, a fierce war has been raging from below and it had to take the rigging of elections by forces considered by the masses of the Kenyan people who voted for change as the “enemy forces” in order for the real dynamics of this war to explode in the open and to send pundits and an assortment of experts into a spiral of political analysis.

A rich man can escape prison in Kenya after committing an act of murder but a poor man will go to prison for shoplifting. Security forces are used by the State to keep the peace in the interest of the rich who have grabbed the country’s wealth and who continue to tread on the poor with impunity. Once one of their members have stolen from the poor and became a millionaire or billionaire, the thieving ruling class has notoriously bored the poor with Commissions of Inquiries to investigate how one of them stole but at the end, what the poor have witnessed in Kenya is that the rich never face justice but escape with all sorts of crimes including economic crimes that are responsible for lack of medicine in hospitals or lack of equipment in leaning institutions. Others have even escaped with political assassinations.

This gang of thieves who call themselves “government,” together with their imperialist allies, have resolved to keep the poor in Kenya in perpetual poverty, a situation that has been understood by sections of the poor whose political consciousness continues to grow by the day. While millions are landless in Kenya and others are squatters in their own country, the rich land grabbers have set aside huge chunks of idle land across the country. The Kenyattas, Mois and Kibakis are all members of this exclusive club of land grabbers and enough documentation already exists to enable any serious government to address the question of landlessness in Kenya. This is not to suggest that the conflict between the rich and the poor is unique to Kenya. As mentioned earlier, the problem is the same in several countries around the world that have been ravaged by capitalist class rule. The difference in the situation is that commentators were quick to point out that unlike other countries, Kenya has been peaceful. The truth is that the peace being trumpeted in this context has been an artificial peace because conditions for peace have not been in existence in Kenya for decades and this is how the situation will remain if key issues that led to the election of ODM are not addressed either by present or future governments.

The struggle against the corrupt one-Party dictatorship of Moi, the struggle for the re-introduction of political pluralism in Kenya, the struggle that removed Moi and KANU from power and the struggle against Kibaki and his Mount Kenya Mafia cartel have all been waged within the context of a war for a better Kenya where every Kenyan can have access to food, clothing, shelter and personal security. This battle has not ended with the formation of a Grand Coalition and the continuation of this battle will form the basis of future conflicts and social explosions in Kenya.

Raila Odinga’s Stolen Presidency:
Excerpt from Chapter 19: Consequences of Election Rigging
The myth of peace in a conflict zone exposed (pgs 349-354)

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Reader Request: Photo of the Moment

January 27, 2012

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A ride in the underground train. Sometimes, there are no vacant seats and passengers have to stand. Men and women of different nationalities ride to different destinations. They are usually very quiet or reading something like a newspaper or a book. Others could be fumbling with their eye-phones. Yes! EYE-phones which enables then to look and see deeper into things.! No conversations with strangers. The train usually stops from station to station to allow more passengers to board as others disembark. You have to ride in the underground to see unique people as they wait to reach their destinations. If you are lucky, you could see unique features. That's life in the underground train. You just have to live with it.

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Makonde Band Live: Sat 28th January at Hornstul

January 27, 2012

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KC: Internationellt Kultulcentrum: BERGSUNDS STRAND 43 T-BANAN HORNSTUL, BUSS NO. 4

Sammy Kasule: Bass/Vocals Bobo    Mwanavita: Vocals Ame Winald: Keyboards Christina Frank: Vocals Göran Larsson: Guitar: Peter Lindhämere: Trumpet Linus Lindblom: Sax Unnar Johannson: Drums Umberto Rosales: Percussion

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Je, Uchaguzi Utakaokuja Utaleta Maendeleo Endelevu?

January 27, 2012

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Makala ya Nguvu ya Hoja, KSB Januari 27, 2012

Ndugu Mwandawiro Mghanga

Ndugu Mwandawiro Mghanga

Maendeleo ni kuongezeka kwa kuboreka kwa hali na maisha katika jamii. Maendeleo endelevu ni yale yanayohusisha, kunufaisha na kuendeleza watu wote katika jamii bila kuwacha wengine nyuma na pembeni. Ni kuhakikisha kuna usawa wa kijinsia na pia kutambuliwa na kuendelezwa kwa lugha na tamaduni za makabila yote yanayoishi nchini. Ni pamoja na kutumia vizuri, kulinda na kuhifadhi maliasili na mazingira. Ni kujenga utamadini wa demokrasi, amani, usalama na haki za binadamu ili kufanya maendeleo yanayokua na kujiendeleza kadiri wakati unavyoendelea. Ni kuondoa ufukara kwa wote.

Kenya bado hatufanyi maendeleo endelevu maana wachache tu ndiyo wanaoishi maisha bora huku wengi wakididimia katika hali ya ufukara, ujinga na ukosefu wa kila hali. Wachache wanaishi katika mitaa mizuri na ya kupendeza katika nyumba kubwa za fahari zilizozungukwa na mazingira mazuri ya mandhari ya kupendeza na ya afya. Wengi wanaishi katika mitaa ya mabanda yenye ufukara, uchafu, hatari, ghasia, uhalifu, uvundo na dhiki tilatila. Kenya ni ya mfumo wa kitabaka. Idadi kubwa zaidi ya wananchi ni wa tabaka la mafukara ambao wamenyimwa uwezo wa kushiriki katika maendeleo ya kuboresha maisha. Hapawezi kuwa na maendeleo endelevu katika hali ambapo idadi kubwa zaidi ya watu katika jamii ni mafukara ambao hawawezi kumudu mahitaji ya kimsingi chakula, nguo, nyumba, matibabu, elimu, maji na mazingira bora.

Pengo kati ya matajiri na mafukara ni kubwa mno na linazidi kupanuka kila siku. Kwani ubinafsishaji na uhuruishaji wa uchumi, ardhi na maliasili na hata na elimu na matibabu, yote haya yanawawezesha wachache tu katika jamii wenye ushawishi wa kisiasa, kiuchumi na kikoo kuendelea kutumia jasho la wengi kujilimbikizia utajiri kila siku ilihali wengi hawana fursa wala matumaini ya kujikokota kujitoa kutoka katika hali ya shida na umaskini. Watu wengi wanalazimika kuishi maisha yasiyo tofauti na ya wanyama ya kutafuta mahitaji ya kimsingi tu kila siku miaka nenda rudi, hasa chakula, bila kuwa na wakati wa kupumzika au kustarehe wala hali ya kufurahia sanaa na tamasha za kitamaduni.

Ufisadi miongoni mwa viongozi umekuwa sehemu ya utamaduni na kizingiti kikubwa cha maendeleo. Badala ya kuhakikisha sheria zinafanya kazi ipasavyo kuhakikisha usimamizi bora wa maendeleo, viongozi wanavunja na kusababisha kuvunjwa kwa sheria kiholela. Ndiyo kwa sababu barabara hazijengeki ipasavyo; mitaa ya mabanda yenye nyumba mbaya, chafu na zinazohatarisha maisha inaonekana kila pahali nchini; kiwango cha elimu ikiwemo ya juu na hasa ya chuo kikuu kimeshuka mno; uharibifu wa mazingira unaendelea; na huduma muhimu mbalimbali zinazoroteka au kukosekana huku uhalifu ukiongezeka.

Sera za kujenga na kubomoa haziwezi kuleta maendeleo. Kwa sababu ya ufisadi, ulafi, ujinga, umaskini, kutojali, kutokuwa na haya wala aibu, kutotekeleza sheria na mipango, kukubali maisha yasiyo ya kiutu, tunajenga na kubomoa taasisi badala ya kuzirekebisha, kuzikuza na kuziendeleza. Tunajenga majumba ambayo tunajua kutoka mwanzo yatabomolewa punde si punde maana yamejengwa vibaya na kinyume cha kanuni zilizowekwa. Mitaa ya mabanda ambayo itabomolewa siku zijazo inachipuka kote mijini huku wizara na idara zinazohusika zikiangalia. Hatujengi vitu vya kudumu, tunajenga vya kuharibika na kuharibiwa kesho. Hatujazoea kukarabati bali tunangojea mambo, mkiwemo barabara, nyumba na miundo msingi,  yaharibike kabisa ndipo tuanze kujenga upya tena. Badala ya kuziba ufa tunangoja hadi tutakapolazimika kujenga kuta hatimaye. Ndipo pamoja na chaguzi za kila baada ya miaka mitano tunabaki palepale, hatusongi mbele. Tumeshindwa kutumia mapinduzi ya sayansi na tekinolojia yanayoendelea ulimwenguni kutoa nchi yetu kutoka kwa hali ya ufukara na kukwama na kuipeleka katika barabara ya maendeleo endelezi. Tumebaki katika hali ya kuishi maisha ya bahati na sibu na kutegemea misaada na maumbile kama wanyama.

Jambo la kusikitisha zaidi ni kuwa tunajua na kufahamu kuwa chimbuko cha kutokuwa na maendeleo endelevu ni mfumo na utawala mbaya ambao umeendesha nchi yetu kutoka wakati wa ukoloni hadi sasa. Viongozi waliyoko ni matapeli wa kisiasa ambao hawana nia wala haja ya kubadilisha hali hii kwa ubora maana wamekuwa watumwa wa maadili na vitendo vya ulafi wa kujinyakulia na kujilimbikizia kama fisi. Badala ya kupigana na umaskini wanapiga maskini. Watu ambao wametajirika kutokana na ufisadi, wizi na uporaji wa mali ya umma na hata kutokana na biashara haramu na katili ya madawa ya kulevya na kila aina ya uhalifu wanaheshimiwa na hata kufanywa viongozi. Mabilionea na mamilionea wa uhalifu wanasifiwa hata na kuombewa makanisani na misikitini. Uwoga, kutojali, unafiki, ubarakala, ukabila na mazoea ya kutegemea vya bwerere wakati wa uchaguzi – haya yote yanashindilia wengi wetu katika hali ya ufukara. Na kuongezeka kwa ufukara ni tisho kwa amani na usalama nchini. Je, tunajitayarisha kushiriki uchaguzi wa kuwachagua viongozi watakaoleta maendeleo endelevu? Au baada ya uchaguzi utakaokuja tutabaki na hali hii hii iliyoko leo? Hii ni changamoto kwa kila mwananchi, hasa wengi wanaonyonywa na kugandamizwa.

Mwandawiro Mghanga, Barua pepe: mwandawiro.mghanga(at)gmail.com

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January 26, 2012

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