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A blog for News and Events happening around Kenyans in Stockholm.

Nairobi Hawker Complains About the Invasion of Kenyan Informal Sector by Chinese Hawkers

October 30, 2014

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A photo that has gone viral online showing a Chinese man roasting maize purportedly in the streets of Nairobi, has ignited anger amongst many Kenyans who feel that the Chinese have ‘invaded’ the informal sector and are taking away jobs meant for poor Kenyans. The feeling is linked to the presence of whites and Indians in Kenya who do not directly hawk their goods on the streets. In 2012, some Kenyan traders protested in Nairobi against what they called: “The Chinese Invasion”.

The Star newspaper reported that the protestors said the Chinese were selling their goods, which mainly included textiles and mobile phones at throw away prices. “When we go to the Embassy to ask for a Visa to go to China, we are only given a two weeks Visa”.

“The Chinese must go. Let them come and build roads. We don’t want them to manufacture goods, export them to Kenya, and engage in wholesale, retail and even hawking the goods,” claimed one protestor.

The hawkers also said the Chinese do not have work permits and that most of them are taking three months wok permits to hawk in Kenya. “The government must protect us. We are not enemies of China, we want them to come as investors and not as hawkers,” said Ben Mutahi, the chairman of the Kenya Worldwide Importers and Traders Association.
“Who gave Chinese hawkers work permits to do business? They can’t speak English. We welcome investors. Hawking is not an investment. We need the law to be applied and the government needs to withdraw wrongly given licenses,” said Evans Kidero, then Nairobi Governor hopeful.

Former President Mwai Kibaki declared in 2003 that Kenya would face East and opened the doors for the Chinese. Unfortunately, they are now major players in the informal market, which is the core of survival for majority Kenyans.

Across Africa, the Chinese have been accused by petty traders of flooding their markets with cheap goods and using unethical trade tactics to throw them out of business. There are now approximately 1 million Chinese living in Africa. IRINNEWS reported that:

“In Malawi, Chinese-owned shops and restaurants have proliferated since the country established diplomatic ties with China in 2007. But the government was recently prompted by bitter complaints from local business owners to introduce legislation preventing foreign traders from operating outside of major cities.”

In Lesotho: “Chinese are now selling makoenya [fat cakes], loose cigarettes, even beer at retail prices, but their business category forbids them from doing so.”

Anti-Chinese sentiment is on the rise in Lesotho, making it the latest site of such ethnic hostilities in Africa. A growing number of Basotho blame Chinese immigrants for the ongoing poverty of the small landlocked country, which has few natural resources and depends heavily on remittances from workers in its giant neighbour, South Africa.

“They are killing Basotho businesses all over! Up in the mountains you find Chinese; they are all over and they’re killing us!”

In Zambia: “Yes, they are giving us jobs, but these are not jobs to help us [improve our lives]. They are jobs to help them make more money. I am paid 350,000 kwacha [US$70] every month, and what can you do with that amount? It is like my salary just goes for transport to come here and go home.”

In Namibia: “Our goods were not allowed to enter China. Only after we complained bitterly and there was a stand-off where we were to withdraw from the mission, were we allowed a temporary permit to export some products into China.” China had earlier refused to accept Namibian meat and fish to be sold or consumed in China, leading to the cancellation of a planned trip to China by a Namibian business delegation.

“The Chinese provide unfair competition by flooding the market with inferior products at lower prices, thereby edging local businesses. Civil work in Namibia, which has predominantly used local labour, is largely carried out through Chinese construction firms bidding below current market prices.”

In Congo Kinshasa: Chinese shops are abundant in the city, most selling counterfeit brands and employing the Congolese to do the peddling. “They pay them monkey-money,” says Billy Mbudi Butshianga, who works as a consultant for Western companies. “How can you pay someone $50 a month when they have a family to feed? So employees steal without them noticing.”

“If we can take the Congo,” Mao said in 1964, “we can have all of Africa.” While Mao had revolution on his mind, today’s party leaders understand that Congo’s soil has every mineral known to man: 10% of the planet’s known copper; 30% of its cobalt; 80% of its coltan (used in everything from PlayStations and iPads to magnets, cutting tools, and jet engines); and untold quantities of bauxite and zinc, cadmium and uranium, gold and diamonds.

The Chinese should concentrate on investments in the formal sector dealing with infrastructural projects and mining, and should not compete with Kenyans whose livelihoods depend on hawking and other petty trade.

Onesmus Mwenje
Affected Hawker
Nairobi, Kenya

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Muchemi Ngatia’s Graduation Ceremony Tit-Bits: Birmingham University

October 28, 2014

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Here is Colins Omondi Presenting his Drawing of Uhuru Kenyatta to the President at State House

October 27, 2014

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Ten Reasons Why Uhuru Kenyatta’s Nyanza Trip May Have Been Cancelled

October 27, 2014

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Last week, Uhuru Kenyatta’s scheduled 3 day tour of Nyanza province was cancelled by the Office of President. Although Kisumu County Governor Jack Ranguma attended a meeting at the Office of President to discuss details of the meeting and even outlined the development projects Uhuru was set to address, the tour was

Okoth Osewe

Okoth Osewe

unceremoniously cancelled without rescheduling. The cancellation has since generated multiple theories and speculation especially in social media as online propagandists attempt to decipher the code that could explain why kamwana could not show up in the land of fish mongers where Baba is regarded as the President. Jokes aside, what are the probable reasons why Uhuru Kenyatta’s Nyanza tour was cancelled at the eleventh hour?

1. The trip was being organized when Baba was away giving lectures in the United States. Whether you like it or not, the presence of Uhuru Kenyatta in Nyanza province when baba is abroad could automatically have been construed by Baba’s supporters as an “insult” to Baba. This perception could have worked against Uhuru because it could have created the impression that after stealing Baba’s presidency, Uhuru was now seeking to undermine him in his absence at the very center of his political base. The consequence could have been unforeseen security risks posed by Baba’s supporters who were likely to seek chaos of sorts at any political meeting or gathering where Uhuru was the chief guest.

2. The last time Uhuru was in Nyanza, he was in Migori County where he was not just shouted down but also pelted with shoes by rowdy youths. In the glare of cameras, Uhuru miserably failed to calm the group of youths who were heckling him and throwing objects at the main dais. In the end, the President had to be surrounded by his security before being whisked away in what was probably the most shameful public scene Uhuru has ever been exposed to since he was sworn in as President. Compared to Kisumu County, Migori County is remote and is not popular for political hooliganism. It is notable that Baba was not at the meeting. Uhuru’s Nyanza tour may have been cancelled because of fear that if youths in Migori could make life difficult for Uhuru and cause him to be whisked away by security, what can the hard-core and die-hard Baba’s supporters at Baba’s biggest political base do if they were convinced that Uhuru’s trip was designed to undermine Baba in his absence?

3. Within the Republic of Nyanza, 99% of inhabitants believe that Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency represents the second denial of Baba the seat of President through election rigging by Mount Kenya Mafia cartel. Under the circumstances, the wounds of the second stealing of Baba’s Presidency in Nyanza (especially Kisumu) have not healed. If the trip could have continued, it could have amounted to rubbing pilipili into a festering wound that was created by the stealing of Baba’s presidency in 2007. To bring the point home, one has to quote the Baba supporter who wept on TV after Baba’s appeal case on Presidential ballot was thrown out by the compromised Willy Mutunga led Supreme Court of Kenya. As he held a piece of paper which he claimed was “evidence” that election was rigged, this now famous supporter declared that “Nyanza is not Kenya” before giving Uhuru an ultimatum that he should never step foot in Nyanza (Kisumu). Although this man has no possibility of stopping Uhuru from visiting Nyanza, his words quietly resonates with the sentiments of millions of Baba’s supporters who believe that the rule of the Mount Kenya Mafia cartel had killed democracy in Kenya, destroyed elections as a legitimate method of changing governments and replaced elections with the will of the mafia.

4. Since flag independence in 1963, and because it has constantly been perceived as the seat of opposition by every government, Nyanza province has suffered both political and economic marginalization by the three previous regimes of Uhuru’s father Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki. After presidential election was stolen in 2013, the people of Nyanza (just like millions of Kenyans) believed that during this era of devolution, resources would filter back to the counties from the Central government and that the issue of further marginalization on political grounds will not come into play. After Uhuru took over power, his Jubilee government has been spending more time frustrating devolution by starving the counties of the much needed funds for development. For the people of Nyanza, this starvation of funds is just but the continuation of the policy of stagnation, both economically and developmentally. Uhuru’s posture that he is touring Nyanza to “promote development projects” in Nyanza when his government is frustrating devolution is seen in Nyanza as a bluff. For this reason, his safety cannot be guaranteed especially if the trip does not have Baba’s blessing. Could this be why the trip was postponed by Uhuru’s security which advised against it?

5. If Baba has a huge following in Kenya, a fair assessment would place his support in Nyanza as “fanatical” where he is seen as a political messiah whose mission is to liberate Kenya and Baba knows this. Since he came to power, every Jubilee attack dog has been set (politically speaking) to maul baba. In the previous regime, Mwai Kibaki was Baba’s equal and although they had a similar share of “retirement benefits” after leaving Office, Baba is yet to get his share from Uhuru’s government although Kibaki continues to enjoy the red carpet, state security, a half a billion retirement home, an office among other goodies.   On the other hand, Baba has no State security and the seriousness of the situation became apparent when a miscreant made his way close to Baba with a bakora and caned him on the back, an ugly incident which was captured on camera. When Uhuru is coming to Nyanza, he is principally coming to meet Baba’s supporters. How does he expect them to treat him with dignity when he is treating Baba like a cockroach? It is akin to burning the koran then attempting to address Muslims in a mosque! Of cause! Baba cannot be equated with the koran and the analogy is only for example purposes. Can Uhuru survive the “fatwa” that was declared by Raila’s crying supporter?

6. In 1969 soon after Uhuru’s father, Jomo Kenyatta, killed Tom Mboya  (the brilliant Luo politician who was tipped to become President because Uhuru’s dad was aging), Kenyatta travelled to Kisumu to open the “Russian Hospital”. During the ceremony, a verbal altercation ensued between Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (Raila’s father) and Kenyatta. What ensued cannot be detailed here but in summary, Kenyatta ended up hurling dirty insults at both the late Odinga and members of the Luo community. “Nita wasiaga siaga kama unga… kuma mama zenyu” (I will crush you like floor… the vagina of your mothers), he said at which point stones begun to fly. The end result was that Kenyatta was stoned and the paramilitary, which accompanied him, had to open fire on the crowd as Kenyatta was whisked away to safety. A dawn to dusk curfew was then declared in Kisumu. How is this incident relevant to the cancellation of Uhuru’s Nyanza trip?

Sad as it may sound, the fear within Uhuru’s security is that the 1969 drama could replay itself especially if Raila Odinga is not involved in Uhuru’s trip. In the 1969 scenario, Jaramogi felt betrayed by Kenyatta whom he had helped by securing his release from detention so that the old man could become President of Kenya. After he came to power, Kenyatta embarked on a land-grabbing spree and political assassinations before adopting hostile positions which forced Jaramogi to resign from his position as Vice President to form the Kenya People’s Party which Kenyatta banned and then converted Kenya into a one Party dictatorship.

In the case of Raila, Uhuru Kenyatta came to power by stealing Raila’s Presidency after which he denied Raila his legitimate retirement benefits before sending Jubilee attack dogs to try and belittle, pour scorn and humiliate Raila. Now, Uhuru is not only frustrating devolution after failing to deliver on every election promise but is also trying to kill the Raila instigated Referendum which is in the interest of the people of Kenya. Uhuru has denied Raila security, a situation which saw an odiangabuk cane Raila in public. After committing all these crimes against Baba, Uhuru Kenyatta now wants to visit Raila’s strongest political base without involving the son of Odinga? The situation is pregnant with potential for rebellion and chaos from Baba’s supporters. It is this reality that forced the Intelligence services to advice Office of President to cancel the tour until further notice. What is more?

7. The truth is that if he is interested, Raila has both the mobilization and financial capacity to make life difficult for Uhuru Kenyatta if the son of Jomo decides to visit Nyanza against his will.  It may seem ridiculous that the President may need the “blessings” of Raila if he wants to be safe in Nyanza but this is the consequence of tribalism and hero worship. Many Kenyans will remember what happened during the “men in black” incident during ODM elections, an ugly incident which was blamed on Raila without evidence. The point is that if he visits Nyanza with the sole purpose of politically undermining Raila, the son of Odinga has his own underground channels of commanding his soldiers to turn the tables on Uhuru Kenyatta in a way that may remind Kenyans of the 1969 riots. The cancellation of Uhuru’s trip may have been informed by the fact that things could turn ugly depending on how Raila’s supporters viewed the visit.

8. Another problem is that if Uhuru Kenyatta is to defy all odds and visit Nyanza regardless of the circumstances, he will need a massive security operation to ensure his safety. This security cannot be provided by police alone. The paramilitary GSU will have to be brought in to help and, in extreme cases, KDF may have to chip in. The possibility of a massive security operation especially in Kisumu involving the military or paramilitary forces is the last move the Jubilee government would want to make in the name of getting a President in any part of Kenya. Instead of providing security, such a move would increase political temperatures and increase tension in Kisumu in a way that would dampen the very essence of Uhuru visit. If a massive security operation is put underway in the name of protecting Uhuru, it would confirm that the government is afraid of Kisumu residents while at the same time, such a move would keep residents away from Uhuru’s functions. Such an action would be very embarrassing especially if Uhuru has to address a public rally without listeners. To avoid such scenarios, cancelling the Uhuru tour was probably a better option.

9. So far, there are very few credible Luos occupying  key positions in Uhuru’s government. In fact, the level of Uhuru’s tribalism is unsurpassed in the history of Kenya. It is not just Luos complaining. So far, 40 out of the 42 tribes are also complaining. Members of the Kikuyu ethnic group have and continue to occupy every key position in government as Uhuru practices tribalism in government with impunity. The situation is so serious that even members of the Kalenjin community (who are supposed to be on a 50-50 power sharing deal) are crying foul. The question that may have been answered by Uhuru’s security which cancelled the tour is that it will be impossible to fool members of the Luo community that a 3 day tour “to address development projects” will reverse the tribalism the government continues to practice as seen in the non-appointment of Luos and other ethnic groups in government positions.

10. Kisumu governor Jack Ranguma has been deeply involved in trying to get Uhuru to Kisumu. However, it must not be forgotten that Ranguma is an ally of Raila and his activities in the Office of President are seen more as diplomatic rather than serious. Despite his position as governor, Ranguma cannot guarantee Uhuru’s security in Kisumu neither is he in a position to control Kisumu youths if they decide that Uhuru is persona non Grata in Nyanza. Despite Ranguma’s assurances about security and numerous trips to OP, the Uhuru tour was cancelled because the National Security Intelligence has a more clear picture of both the situation and what is possible.

This is not to suggest that Uhuru Kenyatta will never make it to Kisumu on a political mission. Much will depend on whether he can talk to Baba to talk to his people otherwise the situation will continue to remain bleak for kamwana because of the factors mentioned. It is unfortunate that some individuals have so much power even when they are outside government but that is the reality in Kenya today.

Okoth Osewe  

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Deep Condolences to Isack Ruto Following the Demise of Dauther Emily

October 24, 2014

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The late Ruth Ruto

The late Ruth Ruto

KSB has just received the news about the demise of Ruth Ruto, the 25 year old daughter of Bomet governor, Isack Ruto. Ruth died on Friday, October 24th 2014 at Aga Khan hospital where she had been admitted. Ruth, who was a leading Kenyan cricket player, will be missed by her family and all those who knew her. We take this opportunity to send deep condolences to the Ruto family following the loss of a young member was was not only ambitious but also charismatic and very progressive in various fields especially sports. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

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Pamela Omiti’s Mom Passes on in Kenya: “Open House” Set Up at the Residence

October 23, 2014

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Pamela Omiti, a Kenyan resident in Stockholm, has lost her mother back home. The sad news arrived on Thursday, October 23rd during the evening hours thereby plunging the family into deep mourning.

Consequently, an “Open House” has been set up daily at the residence of Pamela at Flygkarsvägen 13 in Täby. A major Prayer Meeting/Fund raising will be held at Pamela’s residence on Saturday, 25th October 2014 from 16.00 hours.

Relatives, friends, well-wishers and sympathisers are cordially invited to condole with the bereaved family during this difficult time of great shock and sorrow. Those unable to attend the funds Prayers/Funds drive can show solidarity and support through account number 326600873978 at Nordea. For further information, call 0762162704.

KSB sends deep condolences to the entire family of Pamela following the demise of a valuable and loved member. Pamela’s mom had been ailing for some time and it was not until now that the Almighty God decided to retire her from life on earth. She has now gone to be with her creator and has left a huge gap that will never be filled. May God rest her soul in eternal peace.

Okoth Osewe

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#SwordsofDeath: Nairobi County Askaris Stab More than 12 Hawkers Around Ngara Estate

October 16, 2014

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THE SYSTEM HAS COLLAPSED

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The Bizarre Plight of Homeless Agnes Muthama, Ex-Wife of Senator Jonstone Muthama

October 16, 2014

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The System is in Deep crisis and even Court orders are no longer respected

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Download: Kenya Government’s Angry Statement Against ICC Activist’s anti-Uhuru Press Conference at UN

October 14, 2014

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icc

Kenyan activists Haron Ndubi, Stella Ndirangu and Abdul Noormohamed. The civil society campaigners said at the United Nations on Friday that International Criminal Court member states should consider imposing sanctions on Kenya if ICC judges rule that the government is not cooperating in the case involving President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO | KEVIN KELLEY

Kenyan civil society campaigners said at the United Nations on Friday that International Criminal Court member states should consider imposing sanctions on Kenya if ICC judges rule that the government is not cooperating in the case involving President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The three activists speaking at a news conference at UN headquarters suggested that such action may be needed to ensure that justice is done for those victimised in the post-election violence nearly seven years ago. The government has blocked efforts by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to obtain records that could serve as evidence against President Kenyatta, the activists charged.

They have been presenting that view in meetings in recent days with the UN missions of nations that are parties to the treaty establishing the ICC.

And they have been warning the UN missions that even if the ICC judges conclude that Kenya is not cooperating, the case against President Kenyatta could still languish unless the ICC’s Assembly of State Parties somehow compels the government to provide the records sought by the prosecutor. At present, “there is no mechanism for compelling such cooperation,” noted Haron Ndubi, a member of Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice.

He and the other two Kenyans addressing reporters did not express confidence that the case will even reach the point of being referred to the Assembly of State Parties. “It is highly likely that the case will collapse,” said Abdul Noormohamed, legal officer for the Open Society Initiative for East Africa. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda should not be blamed for such an outcome, added Stella Ndirangu, a program manager for the International Commission of Jurists-Kenya.

DOWNLOAD: Kenya Government’s Angry Statement Against ICC Activist’s Press Conference

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Ms Bensouda lacks the ability to force the government to hand over documents she believes may contain evidence against President Kenyatta, Ms Ndirangu said. The prosecutor’s task has been further complicated by the death, disappearance or recanting of testimony of some prosecution witnesses in the case, Ms Ndirangu commented.

She noted that there is another option open to ICC trial judges other than terminating the case or referring it to the Assembly of State Parties. The judges could also dismiss the case “without prejudice,” meaning that the prosecution could be revived if new evidence arises, Ms Ndirangu said. Whatever The Hague court decides, the activists vowed that they will continue working in Kenya to deliver justice for the election violence victims.

Civil society groups have brought two cases to Kenyan courts. One involves a Constitutional issue regarding those displaced by the 2007-2008 violence. The other focuses on eight victims of sexual violence, “both male and female,” Ms Ndirangu said.

In matters involving international criminal law, there is no time limit on liability, Mr Noormohamed noted. He cited the example of cases related to the World War II Nazi Holocaust in which “it can take 50, 60 years, but one day you see justice done.” He pleaded for attention to the plight of the thousands of Kenyans who were killed, raped or displaced during the 2007-2008 mayhem. “They’re poor, they’re indigent, no one gives them a voice,” Mr Noormohamed said.

He noted that more than 100 Kenyan MPs accompanied President Kenyatta to The Hague on Wednesday, “but nobody spoke for those who died.” “Our situation is such that the perpetrators have become the victims,” Mr Noormohamed remarked.

 

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Hawker Hacked to Death by Nairobi City Askaris

October 14, 2014

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Harun Gathece whose images are attached was on Wednesday 8/10/2014 evening hacked to death by City Council Askaris. He was cornered at his place of work at New Ngara Market (Sunami) as he went about his hawking business. Several others were serious injured.

As earlier reported, city council askaris have for the last two years been attacking small scale traders popularly known as hawkers with machetes and other crude weapons. Efforts by victims to register complains at central police station have been unsuccessful since the officers at the station’s report office have instructions not to record  reports from hawkers. Instead whenever they attempt they are intimidated or locked up and charged with illegal hawking.

Within the two years, 9(nine) have lost their lives in similar circumstances while about 50 (fifty) have been attacked and seriously wounded.

26 year Harun Gathece is the latest victim. He died on arrival at Kenyatta National Hospital where he was rushed by colleagues on referral from Guru Nanak Hospital and his body lies at the city mortuary.

According to witnesses the Askaris descended on the market attacking everyone on sight. They caught up with Gathece who tipped as he tried to flee and set upon him with knives and machetes. Before he died, he named one of his attackers as Akasi Abhani aka Wasiwasi a city askari  [pictured in a green sweater holding rocks].

Akasi Abhani aka wasiwasi was also named by Irungu Kamau who was removed from a city hotel and hacked to death  on 23rd Sep. 2013 moments before he passed out.

As good citizens, editors are now requested to put these cases in the court of public opinion since the authorities are unwilling to investigate and bring the heinous acts to a halt by prosecuting the culprits.

Yours
Concerned Citizen,
Tutors Media.

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