Since last week, workers of Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) have been on strike and they have been threatened with the sack if they don’t return to work soon. Security officers have been mobilized to Kenya’s key airports as scabs to help alleviate strike damage. The sacking threat to the striking workers is reminiscent of similar threats that were issued to both Kenyan nurses when they went on strike a few weeks ago and workers of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) who downed their tools last month. The threat of sacking striking workers is a common weapon used worldwide by desperate employers to force workers into ending industrial actions with various degrees of successes and failures.
In the case of the nurses, the Medical Services Minister, Professor Peter Anyang’ Ngong’o, “sacked” them en masse before they were re-employed and this brought the strike to an end. KBC workers were also “sacked” before they got back their jobs thereby ending the strike action. Just before the nurses and KBC workers laid down their tools, Kenyan teachers had also been forced into taking strike action to force the government to address their grievances. Although the teachers were never threatened with the sack, their strike ended following a fake “return to work formula”. In all the cases where workers have resorted to industrial actions, their demands have always revolved around the same issues – higher wages, better working conditions, better remuneration and job security.
The teachers could not be threatened with the sack because of the impracticality of sacking more than a quarter million teachers, all at one go. Similarly, the nurses were reinstated because of the impossibility of replacing them in the country’s hospitals at one go. In the case of the nurses, the sacking threat worked because they accepted to be “re-employed” without the conditions that prompted the strike being met. In the same token, the impossibility of replacing KBC workers at one go is what prompted their “re-employment” after they were sacked. By “Sacking” KBC workers in order to force them back to work, the government’s strategy worked because the workers’ demands were never met even though they returned to work. The success of the “sacking threat” strategy in the case of both nurses and KBC workers is what is driving the Management of Kenya Airports Authority to threaten the striking workers with the sack unless they return to work.
Bosses of Kenya Airports Authority are likely to succeed with the “sacking threat” because compared to nurses and KBC workers, replacing the KAA workers is much easier, given the lack of technical sophistication in their work. The use of police officers as scabs at the airports should illustrate how easy it is for the workers to be replaced and for this reason, it is likely that they will all return to work if threatened with the sack.
Just like the teachers, the nurses and the KBC workers, the KAA strike is taking place in isolation, without official COTU support and with no political support whatsoever. No political party has come up to put pressure on the KAA’s’ management to address the grievances of the striking workers because no mainstream party in Kenya is a Workers’ Party or sympathetic to workers’ struggles.
A Workers’ Party could easily seize power in Kenya
With over 15 million workers in Kenya, workers form the biggest constituency in Kenyan politics and any Presidential candidate who can get the support of the working people of Kenya can literally walk to State House with a landslide majority vote in the forthcoming elections. The problem is that working class politics belongs to the Socialist bloc which is currently not represented in the capitalist-dominated political marketplace in Kenya. Working class politics has no room for ethnicity and because all political parties in Kenya lean heavily on “ethnic solidarity” mobilized by various ethnic chieftains, it is impossible for these parties to propagate alternative politics that appeal to workers. Although class politics is not a complicated science, and although workers are the biggest voting bloc in Kenya, class politics is still “too hot” for the average political vultures steeped in opportunism and ethnicity. In the case of the striking workers, the simplicity of class politics can be illustrated with one common aspect of the strikes.
When teachers, nurses, KBC workers or KAA workers go on strike, individual workers from these sectors do not down their tools as members of different ethnic groups but as a class of exploited wage earners who feel that they deserve better economic and working conditions. It is the only time when the Luo, Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin etc. teacher, nurse, banker, casual worker etc. downs tools for the benefit of the class they belong to.
A Workers’ Party could easily gain the support of workers in Kenya by setting up a minimum living wage (commensurate with the rate of inflation) for all workers in Kenya. Such a Party could gain recognition of workers in Kenya by taking up Workers’ demands such as the abolition of starvation wages, compulsory unionization of all workers, guarantee to job security and medical insurance, decent housing among other key demands.
To address these demands, a Party with a different ideology opposed to capitalism will have to surface in Kenya and educate workers about its politics to convince them to bring the Party to power because workers have the numbers necessary to help any party seize power in Kenya. Most importantly, workers are the producers of wealth (tax money) constantly looted by politicians but they are permanently kept away from the running of society by the greedy ruling class aka “vulture class” which has been screwing Kenyans since 1963.
The role of the Kenya Red Alliance (KRA) is to introduce working class politics to Kenyan workers and the youth with the objective of leading workers to power as a means of changing society. It is not a very easy process but it has to be done because capitalism is not working for Kenyans. After more than 48 years of capitalist class rule, there is ample evidence to illustrate that the system has crumbled. Despite the huge amount of wealth they produce, the system is denying workers the right to live on their wages by confining them to starvation wages and when they take a collective industrial action, they are threatened with the sack to force them to accept the status quo.
The situation will not change and there is no Jesus Christ who will descend from the sky to liberate Kenyans from poverty, mass unemployment, starvation, homelessness, corruption, tribalism and other vices brought about by the rotten capitalist system of government. Kenyans will have to understand their problem, seek the correct ideas and implement them otherwise they will continue to suffer endlessly as they hope for salvation from the vulture politicians they elect to Parliament at every election.
Kenya Red Alliance (KRA)
As mentioned earlier in one of the articles at KSB, the Senegalese Artist Titti will not be on board during the 2010 Africa Night Cruise because Senegalese artists are currently not being granted visas to Sweden. Due to this reality, the organizers of the Africa Night Cruise eliminated Titti from the Artist list so as to avoid last minute disappointments.
According to ABC News of September 23rd 2010, the former Swedish Ambassador to Senegal, Agneta Bohman, says that Senegalese Artists have tended to “abuse their visas” and that this is the sole reason why they are currently being denied visas to Sweden.
The Ambassador has since been reported to the Swedish Justice Department by Christoffer Wetterström, a Music producer, who told ABC that his firm has lost millions of Swedish Kronors in income because of the visa ban imposed on Senegalese artists.
In reality, the hardline stand on the issuance of visas is an official government policy that affects not just Artists from Africa but the general Immigrant community in Sweden. The ban is a direct response to extreme Right wing politics based on anti-immigration policies aimed at closing down European boarders to non-Europeans and blocking asylum seekers from entering Europe. This Policy is part of the general “Protectionist program” of the wider European Union countries that have been lurching from one crisis to another following the deepening crisis of capitalism internationally.
Overproduction of goods especially in the advanced capitalist countries without a corresponding growth in domestic markets has led to close down of many industries and factories across Europe and this tendency has created huge structural unemployment in many European countries including Sweden. The situation has been exacerbated by greedy currency speculators whose retrogressive economic activities have stagnated investment in employment creating ventures and facilitated crises in the Banking industry.
With millions of European youths out of work, and with the failure of European governments to blame the crisis on a failing economic system, immigrants have become easy scape-goats to help divert attention from the main issues. To appease the national white populations and to prevent European youths from seeking the root cause of the problem (this could breed revolutions), many governments in Europe are focusing on limiting immigration and this explains the general visa ban on non-white people seeking to enter Europe regardless of the legitimacy of their reasons for seeking to travel. The inevitable consequence has been the growth of xenophobia, racism and discrimination of non-white people across Europe.
The dilemma is that the “Zero immigration” policy being practiced by sitting governments is a replica of policies being peddled by the extreme Right-wing parties like Sweden Democrats which scooped 20 seats in the just concluded Swedish General elections.
While the visa ban on Senegalese Artists seeking to perform in Sweden ought to be condemned, it also needs to be put into its proper perspective because the ban is an extension of racism and discrimination of immigrants in the job and housing market across Sweden, a problem which will never be resolved through Right wing politics that has attracted a tiny number of Swedes who voted for Sweden Democrats.
For now, it appears as though the traditional and exclusive huge Kenyan parties at Norsborg are on the wane. Although a popular Party joint for Kenyans in Stockholm, Norsborg has had one major problem of security which every Party organizer knows too well.
In the last three Kenyan parties that were organized at Norsborg, non ended without some kind of violence. To be precise, the last Party there was on15th December last year and it ended with someone’s blood being spilled on the floor and both police and an Ambulance had to be called.
The reputation of Kenyans and violence at Norsborg is so serious that hiring Norsborg hall for a Kenyan Party has actually began to be problematic. The Kesofo Party last December that preceded the December 15th Party and which was held on December 2nd ended in violence and the Association had to part with about 3000 kr after a window was smashed to smithereens by Gambian protagonists who later disappeared into the estate.
While looking for a story for KSB, I personally participated in the big chase of the Gambians to record how the tale ended but this time round, the Gambianos were too fast for Wakenya. A small platoon of Kenyan “War veterans” that quickly congregated to apprehend the Gambians to be held to account for the mess they had done at a Kenyan Party failed to nab the bad boys and Kesofo had to pay.
Some Kenyans could be heard swearing that Kenyan Parties should be closed for non Kenyans who come late, zonked and breathing fire after they have been having a good time in Stockholm city disco points. The violence was coming in the heat of anger by Kenyans that “these foreigners” not only spoil Kenyan parties with violence but also chokoza Kenyan ladies in the very presence of Kenyan men. When they raid Kenyan parties, they don’t know anybody and instead of taking it easy, they embark on crude requests for a dance with each and every manzi they spot.
Following the violence at Kenyan parties at Norsborg, Party organizers began to have second thoughts as the Management of Norsborg also begun to look at Kenyans as “trouble makers”. For the management, it doesn’t matter who caused the violence, thwacked who or smashed windows. The bottom line is that it was a Kenyan Party and the circumstances of violence is irrelevant because police was called and they made a Report which filtered back to the management even if no arrest was made.
The problem for Party organizers then is the question of responsibility. You hire the hall claiming that it is a Kenyan Party then after violence, you turn around to the Management and claim that those who fought were not Kenyans. “They were just some stupid foreigners who came to spoil the party after they had been drinking elsewhere”, you claim but it doesn’t wash because that kinda ujuzi does not work in Sweden where the key word is “responsibility”.
There are never security guards on the door at Kenyan Parties. Organizers normally try to improvise their own local security – some big chested youth floating around and announcing to friends that he is the security at the Party. You just have to wait and the next moment, the security is inebriated so much so that instead of providing security, he is talking in tongues.
The consequence is that Kenyan Parties are moving away from Norsborg into more open and unchattered grounds. Last weekend, there was a Kenyan Party at the Redline Disco in Sätra. Although the Party was well attended, the crowd was mixed and, apart from the Kenyan music that was being boomed by Sound of Blackness that had organized the event, it was difficult to describe it as a purely Kenyan Party.
Of cause, many Kenyans were there – Marky, Mwaura, Jasper, Cathy, Clay, Dan, Susan, Otuga, Makan, Bridget, DJ Jimmy, Grace and others. Despite the Kenyan presence, you could not miss the fact that strangers (or foreigners if you like) were also well represented in a way that the Kenyan flavor of the Party somehow evaporated. Parties at Norsborg are always mixed but the Kenyan flavor never melts away and people dhianga until the summer sun rises from the North. The Sätra Party was taking place in a pub environment and some people who were at the Party were just regular customers who regard the place as their drinking hole.
Probably, this is the new trend and the way to go, a reality which might mean that Kenya-Stockholm parties as we know them are gone. You should have been at the Kenyan Party at Södra Station that was called after the 6th of June Nyama Choma in Fittja. It was deserted and by 1 am, the place was empty because it was closing time. Last week at Sätra, the place was devoid of revellers by 3 am because it was closing time.
The difference is that there was no violence at either parties and there was heavy security presence at the gates. The signals being sent by Party organizers is that due to violence and other unpredictables, it is better to settle for a neutral ground where the Management is divorced from the Disco operations in a way that those who mobilize do not take responsibility for security and other ugly incidents.
The nearest Kenyans came to having a Kenyan Party was at Märsta where Jack Joel Odhiambo was celebrating his graduation. There were strangers but one could clearly get the “Kenyan feel” of the Party.
What can be appreciated is that regardless of the difficulties that surround the Kenya-Stockholm party life at the moment, there are Kenyans who have refused to abandon attempts at maintaining the Kenya-Stockholm social life. The Sätra Party was organized by Sound of Blackness and Kenyans should continue to support the group as it struggles to bring Kenya social life in this city alive and kicking after a long period of ukamwe.
Obviously, a National day like Madaraka Day is a great event which deserves to be celebrated lavishly by Kenyans and friends both at home and abroad. In Stockholm, the Kenyan Ambassador to Scandinavia H.E Mrs Purity Muhindi has organized a three hour drinking spree at her residence where the Kenyan community has been invited as part of celebrations to mark this great day.
It is the first time the Ambassador is inviting Kenyans to her residence following her posting in Stockholm about two years ago. It is not the correct time to ask where Purity has been during the past Madaraka days but a few observations will suffice.
While this invitation is long overdue, it is happening under different circumstances. The last time I was at the Residence with a couple of Kenyans following the outbreak of news that land at the residence belonging to the Kenyan government had been grabbed, the Ambassador called police “to arrest us”.
We were not there to demonstrate but to verify that land had in fact been hived off the compound of the residence and awarded to a neighbor who had fixed the fence at the residence by constructing a new one. If you will be there for the first time since the Kinyanjui days, the only fence that separates the residence from a Swedish neighbor along the garage is a new construction that was never funded by the Embassy but which was put up by the neighbor because the old fence “was looking ugly”.
In return, the neighbor was awarded a triangular piece of land that was returned only after a lengthy campaign by ODM-Scandinavia and which involved the Swedish land office and other authorities. It is during this campaign that Purity called police to lock us up but the move failed because we were peaceful while our presence there was not part of a demonstration. Instead of arresting us, police allowed us to use their bonnet to study a map we had collected from the Lands office. I will not be at the residence (the same venue where she called police) in protest and I hope others who will be there will have a good time.
The police left after a few minutes. The gate was padlocked and we had to view the grabbed land from the compound of the same neighbor who benefitted from the transaction that, according to the neighbor, cost him 2 million Kenyan shillings.
Look at it this way. It is at this same residence where a Kenyan national who was working at the residence as a gardener was denied toilet facilities, forcing him to carry his own waste in a plastic bag for disposal together with other takataka. It was sad when we arrived and found that the Kenyan was actually taking coffee breaks in the garage and his coffee equipment (a cup, sugar, spoon et al) were still on a chair in the garage. That is how savage it got.
The Embassy had contracted the same Kenyan to do extra work for another Kenyan diplomat but when the diplomat passed away in an inferno in Norway, the Ambassador refused to pay him his wage that amounted to 10,000 kr. Despite requests in writing by the Kenyan that he be paid, the Embassy refused to do so. The case is still pending. I will be boycotting Madaraka at the residence in solidarity with this Kenyan who was treated more like an animal which had wondered into the compound of Her Excellency.
THE POLITICAL QUESTION: Then, there is the political issue which might be difficult to understand without the element of principle being brought on the table. According to sources, the Embassy budget for hosting an event of the Madaraka day type normally stands at 50,000 Kr (about half a million Kenyan shillings) depending on whether or not a Hotel is hired and this is normally a 2-3 hour drinking spree in Stockholm city.
Back in Kenya, IDPs are stuck because the government said that there is no money to resettle them. Of cause, 50,000 Kr is a drop in the ocean when compared to the huge amount that might be required to resettle IDPs in Kenya. But it is not small change. How many IDP mouths can be fed with cash being wasted to celebrate a day that has completely lost meaning to the Kenyan people?
Our country has been taken over by imperialist agents who basically control our economy, from the Nairobi Stock Exchange to Kenya Airways (the pride of Africa?). We boast of our country as one of the best tourist destination points in the world and even mention the 1 billion dollars earned annually through tourism but who exactly benefits from the huge profits?
It is foreigners who own the big five star hotels at game parks, beaches, capital cities and other parts of Kenya. Many of the game parks themselves are owned by wazungu who also own or have controlling interests in the tourism industry and other connected businesses so where exactly is our Madaraka which we should be celebrating?
Let me not go into the multinational companies controlling the distribution Networks in our country or the big Western banks we have allowed to keep our money for us when here in Sweden, you don’t see Barclays or Standard Banks. While millions of citizens are landless in Kenya, wazungu are living in luxury in huge Ranches where they shoot innocent Kenyans to death and walk away with murder through our compromised court system so once again, where is our Madaraka which we ought to be celebrating at the residence?
When a foreigner is sick in Kenya, better treatment is guaranteed compared to the poor Kenyan, condemned to die of treatable diseases due to lack of medicine in government hospitals so, what are we celebrating? These are just a few examples.
Celebrating a national day does not just mean rushing to the residence to drink or to feed on snacks continuously for three hours. It is also a time of reflection at what is being celebrated and if I do this in the case of Madaraka, I become sad because millions of Kenyans are homeless or languishing in slums without clean drinking water. Did someone say that Kibera (officially a tourist attraction) is the biggest slum in the world?
Further, Millions of Wananchi in our country are faced with starvation while inflation has hit the 50% mark. The standard of living in Kenya continues to fall on a daily basis as prices of consumer commodities continue to get further from the reach of the consumer.
While the rich continue to speculate with billions at the Nairobi Stock Exchange, the ordinary Kenyan worker is increasingly finding it difficult to live from hand to mouth because the purchasing power of the Kenyan worker has been under constant attack from spiraling prices on the one hand and stagnant wages on the other so what is there to celebrate? On May day, Kibaki refused to increase wages for workers, arguing that there is no money yet in Stockholm, half a million could be consumed in two hours.
For Purity and her corrupt team at the Embassy, the Madaraka day celebration could be a blessing because they will have something to Report back to the government after a period of idleness. At the end of the day, the accountant will be able to twist the figures to see if something small can be left behind for the Madosi and the presence of Kenyans at the function is a plus because it gives the Embassy cover for justifications and promotion of corruption rampant at the Embassy.
The Kinyua container scandal is still fresh while Purity’s attempt to deport an ailing Mr. Cheruiyot (a former Embassy staff member) and family through kidnapping has not yet been eroded from memory. All the same, good luck to Wakenya who will be in the Guest list!
Kenyans have continued to awaken to the quotidian reality that the peace agreement signed by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister designate Raila Odinga on February 28th might have hit a snag because of the gridlock surrounding the naming of the grand Coalition Cabinet that was expected to send signals that Kenya was eventually getting back to business following the mobocracy that was precipitated by election rigging by PNU.
The bickering seem to be centered on what has euphemistically been referred to as “portfolio balance” but what breaks down into the number of Cabinet ministers to be appointed in the grand Coalition and the actual identity of Ministries to be pocketed by the two coalition partners represented by the two principals – Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga.
The entrenchment of the Prime Minister’s Office in the Kenyan Constitution through Parliament a few weeks ago means that Kenyans and the world have already witnessed the birthday of a “dual centered” power structure in the country.
The current pickle on the appointment of the much awaited grand Coalition Cabinet should be a worrying signal that the political symbiosis that was expected to flourish between ODM and their PNU protagonists following the signing of the peace agreement might have been a distant mirage.
Politically, Kibaki is a representation of the corrupt Kikuyu ruling class that has been in control of the Kenyan State machine since the December 2002 elections while Raila Odinga is the embodiment of the Luo, Kalenjin, Luhya and other ethnic ruling classes which mobilized their kith and kin to vote for ODM in the last elections.
The quantitative message that can be discerned from the current quandary is that the intransigent Kikuyu ruling class which Kibaki represents is averse to the concept of “real power sharing” that had been propagated strongly by both American Imperialism and agents of European Union who would like to see a peaceful Kenya as this is the key to a peaceful exploitation of the country’s economic, natural and human resources.
The inability of the “principals” to set up a Cabinet because of petty disagreements based on the size of the Cabinet and the identity of the Ministries for their Parties should serve as enough evidence that the Coalition will not be able to work in harmony to transform the lives of millions of Kenyans pregnant with expectations of change and transformation once the Coalition gets into business.
What should be expected is a series of disagreements, political atmospherics, combat in Parliament, flaps in policy making, malevolence during strategic inter-ministerial consultations and a host of roadblocks in the way of Coalition governing.
THE STRUGGLE AGAINST KIKUYU RULING CLASS
ODM and PNU did not envision the possibility of a Coalition government when they went to the polls and what we have today is an abrupt product of diplomatic force that was commanded by Kofi Annan after election rigging and the eruption of crisis in Kenya.
The catalyst was Mass action that made Kenya “ungovernable” thereby sending worries to external forces with interests in Kenya including the United States and the European Union.
For PNU, the stakes of power sharing are high because in as much as the issue remains debatable, PNU and, by extension, the Kikuyu ruling class, is experiencing its last days in power in the Republic of Kenya.
Every conscious Kenyan knows that if elections were called today, the remnants of PNU apparatchiks in government will be swept out of power because the Kenyan nation is not in favor of another Kikuyu ruling class in control of government following what was witnessed before, during and after elections which were rigged by the same people.
After stealing elections and being caught red handed, one would have expected the Kikuyu ruling class to humble itself and try to heal the wounds created as a result of election rigging. They could have thanked ODM for accepting to share power with PNU and even recognizing Kibaki as President after the deal, not introducing new problems at a time when even Raila Odinga has not been sworn in as Prime Minister.
What is holding progress today in Kenya is pure Kikuyu ruling class arrogance and the general old fashioned belief within this class that Kenya belongs to Wakikuyu. The back bone of this belief has already been broken by Kenyan voters but the ruling class has been blinded in a way that they cannot yet see it.
The current impasse has nothing to do with the ordinary Kikuyu in the streets of Nairobi, New York or Stockholm. Outside this ruling class, the group of Kikuyus who wish that Kibaki does not give in to the concept of real power sharing is the Kikuyu chauvinists whom, in their own Mukimo brains, believe that the whole idea of power sharing with ODM was a grand mistake which has to be corrected at the implementation stage thus the impasse.
Unfortunately, majority of those surrounding Kibaki are Kikuyu chauvinists and these includes personalities in the Cabinet like Martha Karua, John Michuki, Kiraitu Murungi, Amos Kimunya, Uhuru Kenyatta and others. They are supported by leeches such as Kalonzo Musyoka, Mutula Kalonzo, Moses Wetangula and company who are playing the typical Kenyan politics of the stomach.
With the battle lines already drawn as seen in difficulties in the appointment of the Cabinet by just two people calling the shots in the grand coalition, our perspective is that the Coalition will not work on a long term.
As the squabbles continue, Kenyans should prepare to go to the polls to elect leaders who can form a government without the ghost of election rigging lurking in the sidelines. The Kikuyu ruling class will never give in because they are still living under the illusion that Kikuyus must be part of the Central control mechanism in the Kenyan political establishment.
This is the source of resistance against Kikuyu ruling class and although this struggle will take time before victory can be achieved, it must be known among Kenyans that the real enemy is not the Kikuyu masses (some of whom have been brain washed with the House of Mumbi ideology) but the class of Kikuyu wealth grabbers that are trying to protect their loot by delaying an idea whose time has come – the idea that Kenya belongs to no single ethnic group. It will not be easy. But the struggle has to continue.
Occasionally, one comes across a scurrilous attack on Kenyans abroad in the Kenyan media by Kenyans at home who hate their Diaspora counterparts allegedly because members of this gigantic and growing Constituency are “washing dishes” abroad, “cleaning crap at Mac Donalds”, fixing beds in Hotels, doing rounds at old people’s nursing homes or taking up other junk jobs which, by Kenyan standards, are reserved for “losers” and other lumpens in society.
Kenyan Lawyers, Bankers, Engineers, Accountants, medics, students and other cadres are seldom accused (without analysis) of ending up at the “junk yard” of job opportunity once they arrive in Western capitals. Pathetic as it sounds, the complexity of this reality might not be tackled adequately in this short contribution.
With the advent of the Internet, Diaspora Kenyans have been very prolific when it comes to diagnosing Kenya’s ailments and proposing prescriptions for therapy of the debilitating diseases that have afflicted our country thereby crippling our national economy and permanently confining the future of more than 30 million people in a political incubator.
Through the Internet, these Kenya Diaspora “Para-medics” in the field of political commentary have been working overtime, trying to rejuvenate the country with new ideas after its systems were poisoned by political opportunists, charlatans and other vultures of reaction who have let our people down. This kind of posturing has ruffled the feathers of critics who believe that Kenyans abroad should have nothing to do with solutions for political problems because they abandoned the country for greener pastures abroad.
For critics, Diaspora Kenyans should just shut up and concentrate on “working their bodies” while sending huge amounts of money at home after every thirty days.
While there are Kenyans who appreciate the role Kenyans abroad are playing, there are others in the minority who believe that Kenyans abroad are leeches, “distant cousins”, noise makers, empty debes or even total strangers who will take the next flight to their permanent bases in Western capitals in case a crisis of the “post election type” finds them holidaying in Kenya.
That could not be far from the truth. What is known among humans is that if a flood is approaching, potential victims with the capacity tend to move to higher and safer ground.
“We have been abroad and we know what’s good for Kenya” talk is hated by Kenya Diaspora critics who think that these Kenyans actually know nothing about the country. But what is the reality of the situation?
ONE DYNAMIC OF JUNK JOBS FOR KENYAN PROFESSIONALS
If you take the case of Kenya Professionals who have taken junk jobs abroad as a matter of survival, it is possible to condemn them because of lack of perspective on the side of critics. The crisis of Professionals or educated elites taking up junk jobs abroad is not a problem of Diaspora Kenyans but a structural problem facing almost all Immigrant communities who have settled in western capitals. The problem is grounded on Institutional racism and discrimination in the labour market, a problem that is not just well recognized but which is also a serious political issue in several Western countries.
The situation is worse for immigrants who have settled in countries where the language of instruction is not the same as the language which one was schooled in. An English speaking Accountant who tries to settle in Sweden, Denmark, Germany or France may end up cleaning or doing the dishes because everything – from daily communication to paper work – is done in another language. The basic requirement is that one has to go through the process of learning the new language before going for specialized orientation courses in one’s area of study, a frustrating process that may take years.
Even when you are through, there may be no job guarantee because of serious competition from the natives who studied in local Institutions and who have been hit hard by the crisis of unemployment in many Western countries occasioned by the chronic crisis of capitalism which continues to rock the world of International capitalism.
When Andrew Kimani Ngumba, former Member of Parliament in Kenya, fled to exile in Sweden in the 80’s, he ended up as a sweeper in the streets of Stockholm because he could not find a better job. This single example should summarize the predicament of millions of Kenyans who find themselves outside the country and who have to deal with less fulfilling jobs in their new areas of abode as a matter of necessity.
Instead of constantly attacking Diaspora Kenyans in articles loaded with sarcasm, Kenyans at home need to appreciate the role Diaspora Kenyans are playing in the development of the country.
Raila Odinga was once in exile in Norway but he returned to Kenya to play a political role and now he is the PM. The same case applies to Koigi wa Wamwere and Mwandawiro Mghanga who both returned from exile and got elected as MPs to represent their constituencies with varying degrees of successes and failures. In the last elections, several Kenyans returned to try their hand in politics and this trend is likely to increase in the future as conditions also change. The point is that it is possible to surface from abroad and play politics in Kenya so Diaspora Kenyans should not just be taken for granted.
If Kenyans in Diaspora were to look down on Kenyans in the country, then the whole population is just stupid because how do you begin to kill your neighbor whom you have cohabited with for years because someone has rigged elections? How comes that we never fought our Luo, Kikuyu, Kalenjin or Luhya neighbors abroad when you were busy lynching one another, burning churches filled with children and cutting one another’s throats in the name of a rigged election?
KENYA IS A BIG PRISON
It goes something like this: The stupidity is so deep that you continue to elect the same corrupt politicians and when corruption hits the headlines, you begin to complain. When your leaders want to get elected as President, they have to come to us for endorsement and once we say that this or that leader is hopeless, he loses an election because Kenyans abroad have said he or she is not good.
After you have cut one anothers throats and created IDPs, it is us who mobilize or send cash for rehab. It is like the proverbial panga cutting the hand that feeds it. Do you know that it is us who lecture your leaders about the ills they are doing in the country whenever they come up here?
We continue to send billions of Kenyan shillings to you every month yet you continue asking for more so that you can find food to eat, kids can go to school, you can have access to basic medical care and other services that an elected government should be providing. You then turn around and attack us for doing what we need to do to get you out of crisis! Is this the way to go? That is just an outline of hypothetical lecture if it were to be delivered by a Diaspora Kenyan responding to the histrionics of naïve critics.
A Kenyan once put up an advert in his home town that he needed ten competent Kenyans he wanted to take abroad to clean toilets and that there would be an interview at a hall in town. Guess what? The hall was packed to capacity and when he proceeded to look at the CVs of applicants, some of them were University students who had failed to get jobs in the country and were ready to do anything. What does this teach us?
That Kenya is a big prison and majority of those who are inside are desperately trying to get out while those outside are either desperately trying to get back or have resolved to spend their lives outside the country for personal reasons.
Critics of Diaspora Kenyans should seek to open debate on the issue of staying abroad instead of throwing occasional barbs at the hard working Kenya Diaspora community. The main reason why Kenyans abroad continue to participate in the country’s politics is because they love Kenya. They are out of the country but Kenya is not yet out of their system and probably never will.
This situation is not unique to Diaspora Kenyans. It is a uniform pattern that exists among millions of Immigrants across the world. As critics continue to read mischief among Diaspora Kenyans, the next item on the agenda of the community is the Right to vote from abroad and the right to dual citizenship which needs to be entrenched in the Constitution. Kenyans should get used to Diaspora Kenyans intervening in the country’s politics because this is a serious responsibility that cannot be abdicated or left to politicians alone. Hands off Kenyans abroad!
During the International Women’s Day observed on Saturday 8th of March, a quiet event which could be of significant importance in the future also took place in Skarpnäck, Stockholm.
An organization that was formed a few weeks ago called Voice of Women (VOW) was launched at a moderately attended ceremony also marked by dance, food and social exchanges.
According to a KSB contact who was covering the event, the clientele included women from Kenya, Sweden, Uganda and other countries while a sprinkling of men of different nationalities also graced the occasion to show solidarity. It was impressive that the new organization managed to penetrate into the local Swedish TV channel to advertise the launching of the organization.
An important agenda that was highlighted when the group was formed was the fight for the rights of women in Sweden. Kenyan women playing leading roles in the new organization are Pastor Beatrice Kamau, Mrs Josephine Mberi, Mrs Margarett Njihia, Mama Keegan among others.
During the launch, where food cost as little as 50 kr, the youth were also represented. Funds raised from sale of food and soft drinks will be pumped into the new organization to keep it afloat.
The organization was launched at a time when women’s organizations led by focused women especially from Africa are scarce in Sweden. While the Swedish society is teething with well established Women’s organizations across the country, Immigrants are not well represented in this field. It is for this reason that the launching of VOW could be significant.
The main challenge for the new organization is to interest women from all walks of life to join in its agenda especially Kenyan women, some of whom are already in leading positions in VOW.
As a young organization, VOW should also include in its agenda a Program of taking contact with established Women’s groups and organizations in Sweden to borrow ideas which it could harness with its own independent initiatives as it goes about popularizing itself among its target audience in Sweden.
The organization faces a big challenge especially when it comes to tackling abuses of women within the tiny Kenyan community in Stockholm. In the past, cases of domestic violence against women have been reported with at least one death of a woman who was abused by her husband.
Many Kenyan parents are bringing up teen agers and organizing events targeted at this age group could also be an area that could led VOW into interesting the youth in the new organization.
VOW should not just focus on addressing fundamental rights of women but should also consider the issue of helping young mothers who come into contact with it as time progresses.
VOW has a challenging task in addressing the attitude problem that might still exist among certain men towards women, gender parity especially in Kenya and other African countries together with sensitive issues like prostitution and alcoholism especially among Kenyan women in Stockholm. Family or matrimonial crisis together with rebellion of the youth to parental guidance could also form part of VOW’s Program of action.
There is a big difference between a personal attack, a political attack, a personal vendetta and a critique be they against a point of view, an academic presentation or an idea. Yesterday, Mr. Gerry Midenyo, a Kenyan resident in Stockholm, disturbed the still Kenya-Stockholm waters by throwing a missile in the direction of Githuku wa Muirani, the former Director of the just disbanded “Kibaki Tena” lobby group in Scandinavia.
Without even bothering to examine some of the issues Gerry was raising, some Kenyans have questioned Gerry’s real intention while others like Tonny Odera have posited that Gerry is raising “non issues” through “petty talking”.
Clay Onyango, another Stockholmer, congratulated Tonny and hoped that Tonny’s message will “vibrate into those with deaf ears and evil minds”. Instead of a punch by punch dismissal of Gerry’s attack on Muirani, expletives were being sneaked into the discourse in a frantic attempt to reduce Gerry’s concerns to a “personal attack”.
With his comment, what Clay is suggesting is that Gerry has “deaf ears”, if not an “evil mind” simply because he raised his voice over matters touching on a Kenyan in Stockholm, matters which, he thought, deserved some sober answers. Now, Kenyans might even be afraid of raising legitimate issues for fear of being seen as “evil minded” if not “deaf”.
Judging from Muirani’s reply, one is tempted to conclude that Muirani was even more sober minded than some of his sympathizers whom, in their bid to defend Muirani, slowly began to sink into mediocrity. Let us examine briefly some of the issues Gerry raised.
After the post election violence, UHCK organized a well publicized fund raising to help victims of the post election violence in Kenya. This was definitely a fantastic cause that demonstrated the concern Kenyans who attended the harambee had towards the situation in Kenya. It was big news when it emerged that over quarter million Kenyan shillings was raised.
At the planning stage, the Committee reportedly agreed that cash raised would be forwarded to victims of post election violence through the International Red Cross, a fact which was also publicized. The money was to be channeled through Mr. Samson Mande, a progressive Ugandan who works with the Red Cross and whose inclusion in the Committee was partly to facilitate transparency and accountability because no one seemed to doubt the fact that the funds would be diverted if transmitted through the Red Cross.
After the fund raising, the well-oiled rumour mills in Stockholm began to grind to the effect that Red Cross had been side lined and that the funds were sent to some unknown church in Kenya that was allegedly identified without consultation with the Committee.
The rumours have since been converted into fact by Red Cross which has confirmed that it did not send the money to Kenya. Muirani was and still is the Chairman of UHCK and therefore, he is directly answerable in the situation. Is it wrong for Gerry to ask for public accountability of the funds, given that the funds were raised by the Kenyan and Swedish publics?
Secondly, Gerry insinuated that the funds were sent to Kenya, not in the name of UHCK or the Bagarmossen Church but in the name of an individual. Who was this and how could this have happened because the funds should have been in some organization’s account be it UHCK or Bagarmossen Church? How did the individual get access to the funds?
Stockholm is awash with all kinds of versions about what might have happened to the money ranging from it being sent to a Church in Naivasha or Nakuru to being sent to Mungiki in Kibera. Is it wrong for Gerry to have called for accountability to clear the air? And does raising eyebrows amount to being deaf and evil minded?
Framing the matter in the form of a challenge does not mean that money “was eaten” and there should be no mistake about this. For example, why was cash not sent through the Red Cross as had been agreed upon because there are people who contributed cash because they believed that through Red Cross, the money would benefit victims of post election violence regardless of whether they came from Nakuru, Naivasha or Kisumu. The question of corruption and accountability is a big issue in Kenya especially when dealing with public funds. Why should it be petty in Stockholm?
PORNOGRAPHY SERVED ON VALENTINE’S DAY
Gerry also raised the issue regarding the spate of “Pastors” sprouting at Bagarmossen Church at an alarming rate. There should be no problem with people calling themselves “Pastors” especially when they preach the word of God. Gerry simply wanted a clarification and Muirani has done so in a very mature way and without using derogatory language.
Professional Pastors who graduated from some Theological college have and will continue to exist side by side with lay Pastors. What angered Gerry are Kenyans whom, after adding the word “Pastor” on their CVs, proceed to conduct themselves in ways that are incompatible with the title, be it on a Professional or lay basis.
You cannot call yourself a Pastor then on Jamhuri day when the Embassy throws a two hour bash at Scandic Hotel, you are the first person to arrive to drink yourself flat until you are wheeled away in a wheel chair by security personnel. Was Gerry wrong in trying to seek a clarification from Mr. Muirani who has since set the record straight – that he is not a Pastor in the accepted sense of the word?
Then, Gerry also questioned why Muirani has been anti-Raila Odinga and why he has been blaming some communities for the killings in Kenya. It is simplistic to even imagine that this inquiry was directed at the person of Muirani because Gerry was simply playing politics and Muirani did give a political response.
I am raising these issues because of the risk of muzzling Kenyans from raising critical but public issues affecting members of the Kenya-Stockholm community.
Clay Onyango should be the last person to question Gerry because he has opened his blog for anonymous writers to attack other Kenyans at a very low level. Kenyans have watched with horror as families, spouses, wazee and even children of “enemies” are attacked with impunity at Clay’s blog, sometimes with extreme language.
On Valentines day, Clay treated his readers to a pornographic picture of two African women with mountain-like bums that could scare a child into asking very difficult questions! That was after Ole Ngais had alerted readers about what he did with his wife on one Valentine’s day – gave her 29 chupis to add to her collection. Apparently, there were no comments from the Kenya “Guardians of Morals”.
At one time, Clay’s grandmother had her dress stuck between her buttocks (it was disguising) while there is another time when Clay’s balls were hanging I don’t know after he took a shower and what have you. Don’t ask about the picture of the stark naked couple (with bushy shrubs in full glare) in Nairobi that was being embarrassed by Wananchi in the streets after the Ka-bull kanyagad another person’s wife but do I say?
While Kenyans need to avoid hitting below the belt, there are legitimate political exchanges that should not be silenced using manipulated logic. Questioning the destination of funds raised in public does not amount to a personal attack. Political attacks are good because they not only inform but also stimulate public debate on issues of interest. Let us be realistic.
I just wanted to ask Pastor Samson, Pastor Muraya, Pastor Beatrice, Pastor Overa, Brother Jamlik, Pastor Muirani, Sister Catherine, Sister Lissa, Pastor Tilla, Sister Josephine, Brother Saidimu, Sister Naomi and all the holy brothers and sisters in Stockholm; I just wanted to ask them some polite questions which I first need to put into context.
Since the crisis in our country began after the rigging or after the victory (depending on where you stand) last December, Kenyans in Stockholm have been praying like never before for Jesus to open a way so that peace can return to our country.
At Bagarmossen Church, there have been special prayers for Kenya on a regular basis, at St Klara Church it has been hectic while at St Emanuel Church where Ambassador Purity prays, the faithful have been fellowshipping and swalloshipping at the Church’s African Department every Friday night in a special “disco session” complete with music, piano tunes and gospel songs to pray for peace in Kenya. Haleluyha and Bwana asifiwe rants have rent the air as the crisis in Kenya came into International focus.
Kenyans in Stockholm have literally been crawling on their knees, rolling on the floor and speaking in tongues while others have been jerking their bodies violently, revoking the name of Jesus Christ to send his spirit down to earth to sooth Raila Odinga, Mwai Kibaki, William Ruto, Martha Karua, John Michuki and others so that these guys can agree on that one kathing – “Political settlement”.
They have asked God to give Kofi Annan the wisdom, the fore-sight, the vision, the charisma, the advantage, the power, the glory and all the tricks in the book to bring those two guys who are fighting over earthly State House to understand that precious lives are being lost because of them.
Different kinds of bibles of different shapes and colours from different regions of the world have been opened and closed several times – the Gideon’s bible, The King James Bible, The Revised Standard Version, The English Standard Bible, The Living Bible, The Good News Bible, The New International Bible, The Jerusalem Bible and others, all in the name of pleading with God to help Kenya so that the suffering of our people can end.
Chapters and verses have been read from the Gospel according to this and that Mfarisai, interpreted and re-interpreted to relate Kenya to biblical situations where God did intervene to help suffering people. Sermons have been delivered, confessions have been made and God has repeatedly been requested to forgive Wakenya the sins they may have committed if that is what it takes to end the crisis in our bleeding country lakini wapi.
MASS MOBILIZATION FOR PRAYERS WITH MOBILE PHONES
Truly, we have heard how Moses led the Isralites out of Egypt for his people to escape slavery and suffering at the hands of Pharaoh and how he proceeded to open the red sea for his people to escape from their tormentors, how Jesus fed the starving 5,000 followers by turning stones into bread and how Samson slew the Philistines with a donkey jaw-bone because he was on a divine mission. All these have been cited to raise hopes and great expectation among our sullen people that their suffering too could be brought to a permanent end by non other than Sir God the Almighty who is capable of doing miracles.
Some Kenyans known to consume large amounts of alcohol stopped drinking and converted their mobile phones into instruments of “Mass mobilization” for Prayers to save Kenya. They paused drinking after they were strongly warned by believers that no prayers will be answered if they are inebriated, an indication that Kenyans have been “doing anything” within their means to help the prayers succeed and get our devastated country back to normal.
Now, after hundreds of hours of prayers spanning over several days, the talks have collapsed in Kenya and ODM has called for mass action on Thursday this week. Annan has threatened to pack his luggage and leave Kenya. More bloodshed is expected, more death and even more destruction of property is imminently on the way.
I have been bombarded with several SMS messages from Steve Khadir, Keegan Kaagwe and other pro-prayer SMSers directing that at 1.30 PM or 5.45 AM, every Kenyan in Stockholm is requested to stop whatever they are doing and “Pray for the Motherland”.
It doesn’t matter whether you are working, eating ugali or doing something else. You just have to warn your employer that at such and such a time you have to pray for your country no matter what! However, we are now faced with a situation where we are going back to December 30th kinda violence in less than 24 hours after we have been waking up and praying endlessly.
A critic may point out that may be, I don’t understand how prayer works or that I don’t believe in prayers and blah blah blah but tell me. What happened because Kenya is facing another period of even deeper uncertainty and the Kenyan population is worried.
Has the God we have been praying in Sweden abandoned our people or is it because Sweden houses the Devil’s bible which sends signals to sabotage prayers? Could the devil have been intercepting prayers through some satanic satellite patched above the North pole before the prayers reach God or what has actually happened to the terrific wave of prayers that have been transmitted through the mouths of many believers in Stockholm?
HOW COMES PAKISTANI PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED?
Have the prayers been “too little”, making God angry with the Kenya-Stockholm wafarisai or have Kenyans been “over-praying” thereby confusing God in a way that the Almighty has been unable to tell exactly what Kenyans want – a new Constitution, Kibaki to step down, a re-run of the vote, an end to violence, an end to blood-letting, an end to ethnic cleansing, return of refugees to their homes, more money to Kenya for humanitarian assistance, a Coalition government, a government of national unity, an end to tribalism or International mediation?
There are many problems around the world and millions of Christians are definitely engaged in deep Prayer to ask god to help. Could it be that there is a long mlolongo of prayers in the Kingdom in a way that “it is not yet time” for Kenya-Stockholm prayers to be answered or is it that those who have been praying have themselves been “too dirty and sinful” for their prayers to be heard by the God of Moses?
Could it be that there is something we don’t know because the election in Pakistan were peaceful even after the assassination of Butto yet in Kenya, Raila or Kibaki was not assassinated yet we had a major blood bath estimated to have killed more than 1500 Kenyans?
Why was there no post election violence in Pakisran? Does God want kitu kidogo and we don’t know or understand or is God still playing hard ball as Kenyans suffer? Should we call for mediation from outer space to link up our prayers or what should we do?
Could it be that Chrsitians have been preaching water and drinking wine thereby offending God and making him unable to intervene in the case of Kenyan prayers which have loudly been brought before him because how comes he answered the prayers of the Pakistanis where Musharaf sits as President after his Party was defeated Kibaki style and yet there was no violence linked to elections? Could the Pakistanis have sacrificed Butto to go and sooth God and should Kenyans sacrifice someone?
Can the leaders of the Kenya-Stockholm Christian community release a statement to explain the gigantic failure of multiple prayers as our country heads back to the road of bloodshed, senseless slaughter of civilians and wanton destruction of property? Back to Wafarisai!
As I was sleeping at KSB State House, a security alert was dispatched that Saidimu ole Ngais, the President of Chama Cha Mwananchi and Secretary General of the newly launched United for Humanitarian Cause In Kenya (UHCK) had fired an e-mail propelled missile in the direction of KSB headquarters.
Ole ngais’s beef is that as Interim Chairperson of the recently launched Movement for Restoration of Democracy In Kenya (MOREDEK), I am personally responsible for the decision by MOREDEK not to attend the UHCK harambee held on Saturday 26th January.
Ole Ngais is slowly emerging as a Kenyan in Stockholm constantly searching for “enemies” he needs to fight and in the process, he is picking on anybody. Before his tirade directed against my person in an email, he took issue with Mr. Daniel Mwaura, Chairperson of Narc-Kenya, attacking the Kenyan ruthlessly and without proper reasons.
To make sure that his attack is “felt all over”, he copies private email exchanges to members of his mailing list, as part of his exhibitionist strategy. Some mails even find their way in gutter blogs thirsting for material to keep them running.
In an email circulated to Kenyans in Stockholm, the “Massai worrior” advised that I should “chill down” and attend the harambee at Bagarmossen. While giving his attack on myself a personal orientation, he lectured me on what I need to do and what I must not do in a “teacher-pupil” kind of conflagration.
Let us look at the facts. MORDEK announced publicly that it was not going to send any representative to the UHCK harambeee. This decision was taken by members in a meeting held on Sunday the 21st January and the Committee was given the responsibility of releasing a Statement stating the MOREDEK position. As the Chairperson of the Movement, I signed the Statement which was then released.
Both Ole Ngais and Brother Samson who sit in the UHCK Committee were invited by myself through telephone to attend the meeting and update MOREDEK members about developments in UHCK and how the two organizations could work together. Some leading members of MOREDEK had hoped that attendance by UHCK representatives of the meeting could even increase chances of public debates about the crisis in Kenya and answer some questions which were still hanging. Both Ole Ngais and Samson failed to attend the meeting. It is at this meeting where a discussion on the MOREDEK position in relation to the UHCK harambee also took place and a decision taken that although MOREDEK would not be represented at the harambee, members were free to attend it on a personal capacity or send their contributions.
At the time the funds drive was called, there were several issues which were being raised informally by MOREDEK members which needed clarification and in the absence of such clarifications after UHCK members failed to honour invitation to the meeting, MOREDEK members decided to wait for further contacts. This kind of procedure should be normal in any serious organization or Movement.
For example, there was the issue of fund destination which had not been made clear in the invitation letter received by MOREDEK. According to informal reports close to UHCK Committee, funds raised at the harambee were to be channeled through the International Red Cross.
However, other Intelligence reports gathered by myself indicated that a separate account had been opened by the Bagarmossen Church and that it was through this account that funds would be channeled to Kenya. Later, it emerged that funds would be channeled through a Bishop in Nakuru.
I am not writing here on behalf of MOREDEK because I have no such mandate but answering Ole Ngais who published his attack on me at his blog. The question that remained unanswered is the contradiction on the Red Cross-Bagarmossen Church account when it came to channeling the funds to Kenya.
Fund raising is a sensitive issue in Stockholm and the latest controversy involved a case in which Mr. Guthuku wa Muirani, leader of Kibaki Tena Lobby group, had to circulate a Western Union receipt after critics pointed out that funds that had been raised in aid of Muirani’s relatives who were killed in the United States never reached its destination. In the absence of a clear account on how the raised funds would reach Kenya, MOREDEK decided to wait and this position should be perfectly normal.
Another issue which required explanations touched on the composition of UHCK Committee. Although the new group was being sold as a “Non political humanitarian group” which had been born at Bagarmossen church by the faithful, it’s leadership was populated by a coterie of hard-core pro-Kibaki cranks who celebrated soon after Kibaki rigged elections in Kenya.
For example, the Chairperson of UHCK is Mr. Githuku wa Muirani, the leader of Kibaki Tena Lobby group while Mr. Daniel Mwaura, the Chairperson of Narck-Kenya Scandinavia and a “Kibaki damu personality” in Stockholm, also sits in the Committee. Mr. Bryan Njoroge, another leading member of the Kibaki Tena Lobby group who also runs a pro-Kibaki, anti Raila Blog also sits in the Committee.
MANY ORGANIZATIONS GOOD FOR DEMOCRACY
This Committee composition had cast aspersions on the profile of UHCK as a “neutral organization” with the major argument being that if it was neutral, why is it that pro-Kibaki stalwarts are crowding its leadership with known and leading members of Bagarmossen church like Brother Samson and Pastor Tony Muraya taking a back seat?
These are questions which some MOREDEK members like myself expected answered in an open meeting. The view is that if pro-Kibaki operatives were in the Committee, pro-ODM activists could also have been accommodated to give it a neutral outlook.
If you don’t get it, it is like the church in Kenya setting up a humanitarian organization to help raise funds for clash victims, inviting Kibaki to lead it then arguing that the “Church group” is absolutely neutral. Tell that to the birds of the air.
MOREDEK has its own independent Humanitarian wing which concerns itself purely with Humanitarian and Human Rights issues. This wing is being led by Mr. Samson Mande, a Ugandan national who also sits in the UHCK Committee and Mr. Nixon Andu, a Sudanese national. MOREDEK does not therefore need UHCK to conduct humanitarian work in Kenya and the decision by MOREDEK not to participate in the UHCK harambee was not out of any ulterior motive. There is nothing strange in having two different Kenyan humanitarian organizations in Stockholm as long as such organization’s intention is to help victims of the post election violence.
There are thousands of humanitarian organizations doing the same job in Kenya although under different circumstances, just like there are three different Help organizations in Stockholm focusing on assisting needy children in Kenya. These are The Phylis Children’s Home led by Mrs Jacinter Njoroge, The Anna Lindh Network led by Pastor Beatrice Kamau and Beryls Hope led by Ms Beryl Otumba. Jacinter’s Home, located in the Rift Valley, has been hard hit with the crisis in Kenya. KSB has gathered that she is fund raising alongside the UHCK and there should be no problem with this.
This does not overrule the fact that any joint work between two humanitraian organizations could be much more effective. However, before such joint work can continue, there has to be rules of engagement and anybody who questions this view does not understand the art of Networking on a serious scale especially when money is involved.
No organization should try to monopolize humanitarian activities in Stockholm when it comes to the crisis in Kenya. The other day, ODM organized a demonstration outside the Embassy to protest the rigged elections. However, the Party did not complain or accuse other Kenyans who did not attend the demo of being tribalists or refusing to work with ODM. This is how democracy works and the existence of different groups “doing the same thing” is democratic and healthy. Those reading too much into the MOREDEK-UHCK harambee position like Ole Ngais are simply myopic.
After KSB emerged at WordPress in July 2006, several Kenyans based in Stockholm later copied KSB and set up their own blogs. This was positive. It could have been wrong or myopic for KSB to have began complaining as to why these Kenyans were not channeling their info through KSB. UHCK is being used by the likes of Ole Ngais to spread hatred and to victimize Kenyans who are not part of it. UHCK should promote peace among Kenyans, not allow its leaders to personalize its activities through unwarranted attacks propagated via email.
KSB has received mails enquring what needs to be done in the situation in Kenya. Some readers have raised the issue of ”Armed struggle”. We are re-circulating an article on this subject first published in December 1999 in ”Harakati” which used to be the mouth piece of “Kenya Youth Movement In Sweden”. The article is not related to the situation in Kenya today but answers certain questions raised by readers about the subject.
No doubt armed struggle is a recognised method of struggle that has succeeded in bringing many liberation movements to power across the world. Russia, Cuba, China, North Korea, Spain and other numerous historical examples across the world show the huge possibilities of overthrowing Dictatorial regimes by taking up arms. In Columbia and Mexico, armed leftist guerillas have been waging a guerilla war against capitalist regimes in the region for decades. Some of these Movements control vast territories. The military threat posed to the Turkish State by armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) forced Imperialist forces to help Turkey capture Abdullah Ocalan (the PKK leader) who was kidnapped in Kenya in February 1999 through the collaboration of the Dictatorial regime of Daniel arap Moi.
In South East Asia, East Timor has just gained it’s independence after a protracted armed struggle that eventually forced the Suharto regime to allow for a referendum on the question of Timorese independence. Guerilla wars are continuing in the Philippines and Sri Lanka where hundreds of civilians continue to lose their lives in protracted armed conflicts. In Britain, the IRA’s prospect of participating in the running of the Irish government is a direct product of decades of bloody terrorism and urban guerilla warfare. Peace talks between armed BASQUE separatist Movement and the Spanish government have just collapsed, opening the way for fresh bloodshed.
In Africa, the Mau Mau of Kenya took up arms in a bloody war against British colonialists before the Movement was betrayed by home guards. Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Algeria, Ethiopia and Uganda are examples where organised armed liberation movements succeeded in coming to power. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe had to arm his movement to seize power while the case of Amilcar Cabral and his guerilla Movement in Guinea Bissau still remains the subject of hot debate. Eritrea, the newest State in Africa, got it’s independence after the Eritrean Liberation Front waged a 30 year armed insurrection against the deposed Bonapartist regime of Mengistu Hail Mariam. Because of the numerous dimensions of the “military option” in revolution, we will deal here with the question of armed struggle very generally.
IS AN ARMED STRUGGLE NECESSARY IN KENYA?
Can an old Dictatorial regime that Daniel arap Moi heads in Kenya be overthrown through guerilla war fare? Is an armed struggle necessary in Kenya and does overthrowing a regime through this method of struggle automatically lead to a revolutionary transformation of society? These questions are important because workers and the oppressed in Kenya are losing hope in the ability of the capitalist opposition to give direction in the face of deep crisis.
The issue of armed struggle is finding it’s way in different Kenyan discussion forums both at home and abroad. In Kenya, the American-sponsored National Council Executive Committee (NCEC) has publicly called for the Kenyan Armed Forces to intervene in the country’s politics, thereby exposing the confusion and naivety that exists in the country as to the role of the standing army in a capitalist State, the futility of military intervention in the democratic process and what needs to be done to solve the crisis in our country.
The frequency of armed skirmishes between “cattle rustlers” and security forces in North Eastern Province together, with the spreading of anti-government leaf-lets by previously unknown groups claiming to be armed has raised the question as to whether rudimentary guerilla activity already exists in this Province. In the recent past, a government helicopter has been downed by “armed bandits”, killing top government officials while the government has sent permanent armed detachments to the area to maintain security. Leaflets have also been spread in other parts of the country like Nakuru encouraging the Army to rebel against Moi’s dictatorship and seize power. At least one Kenyan claiming connections with a Kenyan guerilla movement is seeking asylum in Uganda.
In urban areas, thousands of sophisticated arms (including AK 47 rifles and automatic sub-machine guns) have found their way on the hands of idle unemployed youth who are using them to commit crime in order to survive. The situation is so serious that Asian capitalists in Kenya are fleeing to Europe and other destinations because the rising crime wave has destroyed the peaceful environment necessary for the quiet exploitation of the poor. Sporadic Kidnapping and bloody murders of leading Asian capitalist have led to at least one demonstration by the Asian bourgeoisie in Nairobi. The point here is that the smuggling of arms and ammunition to urban centres is already a reality. What is missing is a coordinated plan to engage in organised military activities of the urban guerilla type.
In Africa, the experience of guerilla wars has shown that this method of struggle has the capacity to overthrow those regimes and ruling classes lacking a powerful social base in the population and which have been unable to reinforce themselves adequately with the aid of foreign powers. This was especially so in the case of Uganda where Dictator Yoweri Museveni seized power in 1986 by defeating a rag-tag army that had become exhausted from years of hopeless ethnic conflicts. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Laurent Kabila came to power without much opposition after defeating a demoralised Mobutu army that had not been paid their salaries for months.
In Mozambique and Angola, guerilla war led to the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. This was mainly due to the weakness of the capitalist class, the total collapse of the colonial state, the impact of the guerilla war and the revolutionary movement of the Portuguese working class that was intrinsically opposed to Portugal’s continued war and colonisation of Angola. Because they borrowed their revolutionary models from the former Stalinist Soviet Union that was already staggering under the weight of bureaucracy, Mozambique and Angola ended up with Bonapartist single party dictatorships that totally sidelined the working class from the running of society.
THE MASS MOVEMENT MUST GAIN CAPACITY TO USE FORCE
Kenyan working class and the youth recognise the fact that armed force can lead to Dictator Moi’s overthrow. However, examples of genocide in Rwanda, total chaos in neighbouring Somalia, blood bath in Liberia and the fiasco in other armed conflicts in Africa have all prevented armed struggle from being seen by Kenyans as a viable option of bringing political change in the country. Many armed “wars of liberation” in Africa have, in the past, been waged without a revolutionary programme aimed at transforming society. Unfortunately, these fratricidal wars have constantly been used by the capitalist media that has implanted in the consciousness of the masses the false notion that armed struggle is an invitation to chaos.
From our view, the most formidable opposition any armed Movement will face in Kenya is military opposition from British and American imperialism. This is because Kenya is of immense political and strategic importance to both American and British imperialism. Britain controls half of foreign investments in Kenya (estimated at 500 million pounds) while the US controls half of the remainder. This is besides the fact that the CIA uses Kenya for it’s East and Central African operations. These combined imperialist interests have forced the US into maintaining a permanent base of solders at the port of Mombasa. The port has now been privatised to make it easy for US and British imperialism to use it much more effectively without government interference. To expand their understanding of possible guerilla terrains, Britain operates regular military exercises in North-Eastern Province while the US continues to send it’s military personnel to “train” Kenyan solders in readiness for “peacekeeping” operations in Africa.
If we look at Zimbabwe, the methods of guerilla war failed to overthrow capitalism but instead, led to compromise with the ruling class and with imperialism. While the Zimbabweans could sing the national anthem and raise their flag as a “free” nation, the fundamental tasks of the revolution – land to the landless, jobs for all, power to the people and other promises upon which Zimbabweans shed blood remained unfulfilled. The guerilla leadership led by Robert Mugabe reached a “settlement” with the bourgeoise because of the passivity of the working class throughout the process of revolution. Despite these setbacks witnessed in armed struggle in different parts of the world, KYMS does not rule out possible outbreak of an armed struggle in Kenya. The movement finds it necessary to contribute to the debate on armed struggle by putting forward its general perspectives on this question.
KYMS believes that armed struggle has to be developed as the struggle of the working masses, as an expression and extension of the organised strength of the working people, their social aims and their need to change society. If armed struggle is limited to armed action of guerilla detachments, the problem is that the regime will find an excuse to amass deadly military weapons and personnel intended fundamentally for use against the mass movement of the oppressed. However, when the mass movement has gained the capacity to use armed force, the question will be the amount of preparation that will be needed for the arming of the workers and youth; importing and stockpiling of the necessary arms as well as acquiring and making arms from all possible sources within the country. The issue that will have to be sorted out will be the carrying out of military training within Kenya in conjunction with the building of underground political networks of the revolutionary movements together with concrete designs of tactics and strategy.
AN UNDERGROUND PREPARATION OF TRAINED MILTIAS
Any serious movement contemplating armed struggle has to put in place a revolutionary programme that will have to be implemented upon seizure of power. This is important in preventing the development of a distorted revolution that might give rise to a new form of dictatorship over the workers and the youth. KYMS’s military policy is based on preparing the forces for the future armed insurrection against KANU or any capitalist State that succeeds it. However, the movement is opposed to any reckless and adventurist policies in the mass movement which may immediately provoke massive military retaliation against Kenyan workers and the youth, still in relatively early stages of mobilising their forces. The idea is to prepare with the eventual aim of insurrection in mind. When President Museveni seized power using force, he had to compromise with Western imperialism because Museveni’s movement did not have a revolutionary programme that had to be implemented upon a power-take-over. Now, Museveni has transformed his regime into a one party dictatorship fed by IMF and World Bank, invited Asian capitalists from Europe to exploit the country’s resources and rooted an authoritarian regime.
In the cause of the development of the revolutionary situation in Kenya, occasions for the effective use of arms will continue to arise. However, any effective armed onslaught against the armed capitalist State (with or without Moi) will require an underground preparation of the nuclei of trained workers’ militias and the youth. A plan for caching arms will have to be in place before sporadic attacks against state installations can begin. As the revolutionary situation matures, co-ordinated offensive actions would also begin as difficult questions of tactics and attention to circumstances and detail are worked out.
Guided by a clear programme for workers power, an armed struggle in Kenya remains a possible method of overthrowing capitalism in the country and setting the stage for the re-building of a new society where people can live together as equal human beings. KYMS will continue to support this method as an option alongside other methods of struggle like mass insurrection, general uprising civil disobedience and other democratic options open in the situation.
In the process of bloody ethnic cleansing of members of the Kikuyu community in Kenya, brutal murders in our country that has claimed 311 lives, wanton destruction of property, chaos, blames and counter blames, some commentators have deliberately or indeliberately lost grip of the core issue that is fuelling the National democratic revolution in Kenya.
On a long term, the fundamental question after Kibaki stole the vote and installed himself as President is the question of the ability of Kenyans to change a government through democratic elections. Once Kenyans loose confidence in the electoral process (this happened during the Moi dictatorship), very few Kenyans will, in future, have reasons to go to vote.
Kibaki has openly stolen the vote using an Electoral Commission he appointed. Kenyans had confidence in the electoral process because they had confidence that Samuel Kivuitu, the ECK Chairman, would ensure that the will of the Kenyan people prevailed. Instead, Kivuitu stole the vote in favour of Kibaki and later went ahead to admit this fact when blood began to be spilled. Evidence from European Union observers and other independent sources have confirmed that Kibaki rigged elections. Given that democracy is universal, how can the world accept the result of rigged elections in Kenya and democratic elections in other countries even if the rigging is with one vote?
The political consciousness of Kenyans has grown and the millions of Kenyans who voted for Raila Odinga will not buy the cheap concept of “peace and reconciliation” being preached by the Church and other external forces because recognising Kibaki as the President will mean that next time, another candidate in office could steal the vote and get away with it.
The vicitmization and killing of innocent members of the Kikuyu community is unnecessary, just like the shooting of civilians by paramilitary police is also uncalled for.
The struggle against the rigged elections must go hand in hand with the need to restore and maintain faith in the electoral process. Moi ruled by crisis because he had no mandate. Kenyans need a President who has the people’s confidence and the people have already spoken.
The current dispute is beyond Raila or Kibaki Presidency. It is about the future of Kenya as a democracy and a generational change in the country’s leadership. Kenyans should not loose this focus because we are one people genuinely fighting for change and transformation in our country.
In many parts of the world, election time is a time of memorandums, manifestoes, propaganda, exhibition and political competition emanating from all contestants seeking office. In the case of Kenya, there has been no shortage of the above although, in the last week, what appears to have captured the attention of opponents of ODM is the entry of Dick Morris, a white American election consultant, in Raila Odinga’s Presidential campaign team.
Just like President Kibaki and his allies like Nicholas Biwott, Professor George Saitoti, Njenga Karume, Simion Nyachae, John Michuki and other dirty political maniacs in Kibaki’s backyard, Raila’s Mark Morris is not totally clean and he has obviously had his share of scandals in the United States. George Bush had the scandal of starting the war in Iraq but he was re-elected President. Bill Clinton had his sucking Lawinsky scandal but he escaped impeachment. These are examples that are, in no way, meant to justify these dastard acts.
What is baffling is the ugly head of racism that has greeted the entry of Dick Morris in Raila’s Presidential campaign team. At some point, one detects the lack of understanding of the “politics of populism” and how it works in an environment like Kenya until situations of the Dick Morris type emerge to act as a paradigm.
Although Morries is a volunteer working for free, many critics have raised concerns as to why Raila “has hired” a white American to “head” his election campaign when there are many qualified Kenyans who could do the job. In Stockholm, armatures in the field of political commentary have averred that Dick Morris should leave Kenyans alone because Kenyans have a bigger “Dick” which can do the job.
Kenyans in Stockholm crying wolf are well aware that at the Kenyan embassy in Stockholm, white Swedish nationals are occupying sensitive positions, not because there are no Kenyans who can take up their jobs but because the Kibaki government has decided to retain them at the Embassy after they were hired by the former dictatorship of Daniel arap Moi. Dick Morris bashers have never raised a finger at these foreign and white Embassy staff who continue to swagger along Embassy corridors like neo-colonial conquistadors who are there to stay.
For example, Peter Lane, a white national, is the official translator at the Embassy and consequently, he acts as the link between the Embassy and the Kenyan government at the documentary level where the element of translation comes into play. If we suppose that Peter has links with the Swedish secret security apparatus (and this is just a supposition), then the Kenyan Embassy, which is the official representative of the Kenyan government, has no secrets. If you want to understand the major implication here, try telling the Americans to employ a Russian translator at the American Embassy in Stockholm. It is like having an American translator at the Iranian Embassy during this age of nuclear technology and weapons of mass destruction!
Apart from Peter Lane’s job as a translator, he could have access to a wide range of information including the internal workings of the Embassy in terms of finance, politics, trade and so fourth, information whose misuse cannot be quantified now. If, today, the Kenyan government enters into crisis with the swedish government, you can be sure that the swedes will be well informed. In condemning Dick Morris, are critics also suggesting that the likes of Peter Lane should not be working at the Embassy because they are white?
Dick Morris is not working for the Kenyan government and so far, there has been no MoU to suggest that once ODM seizes power, he will be one of the key players in government. His status is that of a volunteer so what is the hullabaloo all about?
Still on the Kenyan embassy, what about Mrs Ingrid Österberg-Gerdin, a white Swedish national who is the “Accounts assistant”? She deputizes Linnet Vitisia, the Financial attaché. When it comes to the field of accounting, Kenya is teething with talent so why can’t Kibaki hire one of our brilliant brains to take over Ingrid’s duties at the Kenyan embassy? If the question is about a white man or woman being unfit to run the affairs of Kenya simply because of their white skins, isn’t this racism? Should the services of Peter Lane and Ingrid be terminated because they are white?
MISSING THE WIDER AND BIGGER PICTURE
Obviously, there could be multiple explanations as to why white people continue to populate the Kenyan embassy as “supportive staff”. The difference between these white folks and their white counterpart, Dick Morris, is that Morris is not living on tax payer’s money since he is working for free so who is the better evil – Kibaki who has hired them or Raila who has accepted a volunteer?
The story could have ended there were it not for Lina Jonsson, another white Swede, blond haired(?) in charge of the Stockholm Office of the Kenya Tourist Board. She works under the auspices of the Kenyan embassy. The question is: Aren’t there Kenyans who are qualified enough to run this office or must we leave such a strategic office to be managed for us by a whitie?
Some people have advanced the view that white Swedes are needed at the Embassy because their Swedish is better than the natives of Kenya. But these are meatheads who have never come into contact with Kenyans who sing Swedish like Taraab music. When these Swedish-Kenyans are on the phone at the other end, you could think that its a Svenssson or another blondie so don’t even try that argument.
The Kenyan embassy is a small place. If we expand the surface area and extend the analysis to Kenya, the country’s whole economy has been on the hands of British and American imperialism since the days of Kenyatta, Moi and even Kibaki. Majority of companies at the Nairobi Stock Exchange have white CEOs. The biggest Newspaper in the country – The Daily Nation – is owned by Aga Khan, a foreigner of Indian extraction. In fact, the two leading banks in Kenya which controls our money – Standard and Barclays – are owned by white Europeans, leave alone the big companies used by Europe and America to repatriate profits from Kenya on a daily basis back to Europe.
Whether you are talking about the Coffee or tea industry, the pyrethrum or flower industry, the white man dictates the prices which keeps our farmers perpetually poor. They run companies dealing in these products. Even our Kenya Airways is white owned after it was privatized. A Kilo of raw coffee in Kenya costs a few shillings while here in Sweden, a cup goes for Ksh 170 and that is at cheap coffee houses. Its the white man, not the black farmer who enjoys the profits all along the way. If you don’t know this, then you need a ngoto.
Is Mr. Dick Morris worse than the likes of Cholmondeley, the white grandson of Lord Delemare who has shot dead two Kenyans at his so called ranch but who has never gone to prison? Have Kenyans forgotten that white highlands are still on the hands of white people more than 4 decades after independence?
What is Dick Morris (a volunteer) compared to Artur Margaryan and Artur Sargsayan, two white hard-core, drug dealing criminals allegedly from Armenia who were guests of the Kibaki government and who are credited for commanding the infamous raid on the Standard? As if that was not enough, one of the gangsters was sleeping with the President’s daughter Winnie and doing business with Winnie’s mother also known as the President’s other wife! Who is dirtier – Dick Moris or president Kibaki?
If they are not white or Asian, who controls the distribution networks in Kenya, the tourism industry, the Entertainment industry and other key aspects of the Kenyan economy?
Isitoshe, who forms the bulk of the so called foreign investors in Kenya – black or white? Mr. Dick Morris is just a spit in the sea and those attacking Raila on this petty issue are all missing the bigger and wider picture which can only come into view if you put on ideological lenses.
Kenyans who are chronologically challenged are increasingly finding it difficult attending Kenyan Parties in Stockholm which, they believe, have been taken over by the youth. The generation gap is beginning to have an impact and the consequence is that Kenyans who are over 35 years old are becoming unable to cope with the standards being set by the youth on the dance floor. Aware of this phenomena, some Wazees have began calling for “Waeze Hukumbuka Parties” where they can feel more comfortable.
“The problem is that you go to the disco and you find out that your son or daughter is also there”, said a Kenyan parent with teens approaching their 20s.
The age bracket aside, elderly Kenyans find the suggestive dance styles “embarrassing”. At the moment, the style that is booming is the “back hook” where the Manzi turns her bums to the male partner who then reduces the distance from in between as he begins to rub his “frontal lobes” on the pointed bums in unison with the rhythmic beat of the Music.
At this point, the lady is in a “bending posture” and you only need to watch the video to understand the sexual dynamics of this dance floor operation that is sweeping across the Kenyan youth like wild fire. They love it!
In fact, it is almost semi-pornographic and one could sympathize with Kenyan moralists in Stockholm who posit that the scenes are “not good for children”. The only consolation is that they are not worse than scenes on “The Voce” Music channel on Swedish Television watched by kids daily and on a routine basis. The difference between the Kenyan displays and “The Voice” is that on the channel, the dancers are sometimes “in their pants only” while the “sex-packed” motions are sometimes explicit “beyond belief”.
A parent could get away with “The Voice” scenes by explaining to the kids that “those are white people” but in many cases they are African Americans doing business in the Entertainment industry. When the scene is almost similar in a Kenya-Stockholm disco setting, what do you say to the kids? That those Kenyans are crazy maniacs copying unacceptable white cultural values?
During the Kenya Summer Jam Party, a youthful Kenyan male who was in a white hat and long sleeved shirt shuttered the record when it came to how far the “back hook” could go. His partner, a stylish and equally youthful lassie, advanced the moves with the zeal of a “professional”.
Although the scene could be entertaining depending on your attitude, the moves were clearly beyond the reach of an average Mzee wa Kazi in Stockholm who suddenly finds himself confronted with youthful bums pointed in the direction of his flailing cruise missile. After watching the video clip, an old timer called KSB to announce his resignation from the Kenya-Stockholm dance floor.
The DJs don’t care. When they understand that the youth are getting even closer, that is the time when they fix the “tempting to touch” songs. In one clip at the Summer Jam Party, the DJ openly provokes the dancers by sharpening the lyrics through the microphone with the “And if you want to remove it, your underwear…” lines. In other words, he gives the girls the option of removing their thongs if they think it’s the best alternative under the “heated” circumstances on the dance floor so what is to be done? Blame the DJ or the lyrics?
According to a Mzee wa Kazi, MTV and other channels have taken over the thinking of the youth when it comes to dancing. At the summer Jam, it was a typical case of the mini skirt “being too short”” while in some cases, the view of the bra from the back is a scene that was perfectly acceptable. To put it mildly, some breasts were simply “tied up with ropes” woven around the chest and as the boobs shook violently to the staccato beats of the music, you could think that they would pour out if the ropes accidentally untied. Some fatty chunks of meat were wrapped in very tight short trousers and as they were shaken slowly from left to right, the action had the capacity to set an average male mind circling endlessly. It was a scene you could watch over and over again depending on what you were interested in. At the entertainment level, it was real.
“MY SON IS REALLY ON YOUR DAUGHTER”
There is a case when a tiny strip of cloth had been wrapped around the waist in what passed for a skirt. When the whole bundle of a girl did her moves, it was easy appreciating the fact that she had white pants on because the piece of a skirt kept on exposing the pants (imagine the intervals of a blinking eye) as she jumped up and down to amuse herself, oblivious of what was happening from below. You did not need spectacles or a high powered telescope to absorb the color of her thingy.
In another case, a well fleshed Kamanzi who was also scantily dressed started gyrating her bosom as she held on a chair strategically placed in the middle of a circle of dancers who were going round like a train shaking to the rhythm of “wacha waseme…usiku watala” Taraab music (let them say at night they will sleep). The catchy part is that the lady in question assumed that the chair she was “challenging” was a man in bed. The rest could only be left to the imagination.
Instead of reacting like they had been surprised by such an “immoral move”, the dancers actually cheered the girl wildly, as if she was a heroine. The gratification underlined the fact that what she did was appreciable and the message was that others could go ahead and even reach a “climax” with the chair so you are all alone when you sit there and complain about Kenya-Stockholm morals standards.
At first, I thought that when the revelers were warned by the DJ that KSB was filming, they could slow down and avoid the more suggestive stuff or even take a break. This did not happen. Instead, one dancer was asking “Wako wapi?” as she moved on to perform a dangerous display with her partner who was equally excited. Others simply seized on the opportunity to “perform a show” with their partners in order to send the message home – “This is how we do it in Stockholm so take it or leave it”.
When the clips were uploaded at Youtube, a dancer called KSB to complain that she was not in the videos although she had been dancing the whole night. The disco went on for 10 hrs and we could not film everything because that was unrealistic.
Some Wazees have confessed that they have no energy to go down in slow motion in one of those funny styles. “It is like taking a press-up”, said one Mzee. Besides, I have a big tummy that cannot even allow me to put on my shoes without help from some kind of stick”, a Mzee told KSB. “I just have to watch”, he admitted.
Are separate discos for Kenyan Wazees viable in Stockholm? This is a question that cannot be adequately answered. Within the Swedish society, there are disco sports for all age groups. The problem is that these spots are not Kenyan in terms of clientele and music. There is nothing wrong with Kenyan Wazees garnering for special Parties if they feel that mixing with the hot blooded youth is becoming problematic. The youth just have to do their thing and not much can be done if they have developed a tendency of taking over discos in Stockholm.
Besides, some of them are single and have to look for hunting grounds while their time for real fun is now. You could argue that they could go to Swedish discos – many of them do. But when something Kenyan comes by, it’s normally something special so it’s not strange that they normally tend to dominate the floor.
It is difficult to be present at the disco as an observer when your son is squeezing the daughter of a close friend of yours on the floor. How do you react when the friend is also at the Party?
“Hey Mamen. Son wa mine is really on your daughter”. Surely, this kind of conversation might not just be possible and Wazee have only one option. They need to sit down and discuss their problems at Kenyan parties because whichever way the coin goes, Wazee will always be the underdogs at Kenyan parties in Stockholm when it comes to action on the floor and the youth do not simply care. The fundamental issue is that you have been attending Kenyan parties for the last 15 years then now, you can’t because you are growing old.
By keeping away from Kenyan parties with the argument that these parties “have been taken over by the youth”, Kenyan Wazees in Stockholm are in the process of isolating themselves even further within the Kenya social scene. Is it time for Kenyan Wazees to organize their social interactions in Stockholm?
The Case of an HIV positive Kenyan who allegedly raped two Swedish women and infected them with HIV was mentioned in court on Friday to pave the way for the Kenyan to be held incommunicado as “investigations continue”.
No doubt, rape cases and indiscriminate spreading of the HIV virus are vices which should be condemned by all right thinking people in any society. .
For many Kenyans in Sweden, the case of this countryman (which has been playing itself in the Swedish media) is very disturbing while it also raises certain pertinent questions that require a sober examination with a view to understanding the sophisticated bias and implicit racism by the Swedish media especially when it comes to explosive and negative stories that could promote stereotypical perceptions of Africans in this country.
To begin with, the 35 year old Kenyan is still a suspect but he has already been found guilty by the media which has dubbed him “HIV mannen” (HIV man). This is a term which, within the context of the Swedish media, is specifically reserved for people who have spread the HIV virus on a “mass scale”.
Mhadi Tayeb, an HIV positive Iranian national who was one of the first ppeople to earn this title in 1998, allegedly had sexual contact with over 130 Swedish women. His identity (including his picture) was quickly published in the Swedish media because he was “a security threat” to the Swedish nation by virtue of the fact that he was still on the lose. He later fled to Iran where he was arrested after being on the run for five years. The Iranians refused to extradite him to Sweden.
“Hot Boy”, an HIV positive white British male who hooked over 130 Swedish girls out of which about ten have tested positive, may have been put in his right place by being referred to as “HIV mannen” by the Swedish media. He was arrested about two weeks ago. But what about the Kenyan?
According to an admission in court on Friday by the Kenyan suspect, he had sexual contact with the two Swedish women although he has denied raping or infecting them with HIV. On the strength of the two contacts, the question which has to be posed in why he is being referred to as “HIV mannen” in the Swedish media thereby giving the impression that he has been running around with countless Swedish women and infecting them with HIV.
WHO INFECTED WHO WITH HIV VIRUS?
To try and justify the image of a dangerous criminal who has been on the run, the police have been quoted in the media as saying that the Kenyan “might have infected many women”. So far, there has been no list of girls claiming to have had sexual intercourse with the Kenyan or who have undergone tests to establish their HIV status so why is this Kenyan being called “HIV mannen” without justification and why is the police suggesting that he might have infected many white girls without producing a shred of evidence?
According to police, the Kenyan allegedly infected a 14 year old Swedish girl with the virus. The point that is not being deepened enough by the Swedish media is that this infection allegedly took place two years ago in an alleged incident of rape. The terrible crime of raping a 14 year old white Swedish girl by the then 34 year old Kenyan was never reported to police and therefore it was never investigated. What was the parents of this fourteen year old doing and how comes there was no report?
Sexual exploitation of a 14 year old is a crime in Sweden and a repugnant act that is morally unacceptable. The Kenyan has admitted that he had sex with this girl. By implication, the Kenyan has admitted having committed a crime. For this crime to be proven, it must also be proven that the intercourse took place by force.
This is a task that might be difficult especially in a situation where the alleged crime took place two years ago but was never reported to police. For a rape case to stand, medical proof is key and this cannot be done when the crime was reported 24 months later. On the basis of a claim that a 14 year old white Swedish girl (now 16) was raped two years ago, a Kenyan is being held incommunicado. The crime is deemed too serious that even his blood brother and legal wife have been denied access to him. Is this the way justice works in this country?
According to Metro newspaper of 13th June 2007, the Kenyan also raped and infected a 57 year old with HIV. But, according to Dagens Nyheter 16th May 2007, the elderly woman is actually 58 years old. Once again, the crime was allegedly committed two years ago although the geezer never reported the terrible crime to police. It was in January this year when the old woman just walked into a police station and stated that the Kenyan raped her two years ago. What has she been doing and when did she test herself?
Even after the late report, police never took any action because “they were busy” with other more serious stuff. It was last Saturday when police walked into the Kenyan’s apartment and arrested him in front of his wife. The question is: Should readers just accept the facts as they are being presented in the media or should there be a second look at the circumstances?
Then we come to the hardest part which is difficult to delve into unless details of the case are also made available. For now, I will speculate from a safe distance. Who infected who with the virus and where is the proof?
“AFRICANS HAVE HIV” PROPAGANDA AT WORK
Most likely, the Kenyan must have tested positive before his arrest on Saturday. So far, there is no hard evidence that has been produced to prove that either of the Swedish sexual contacts did not infect the Kenyan with HIV. Assuming that he first had sex with the 14 year old at a time when the 14 year old had not been tested, where is the proof that the 14 year old did not have HIV when she spread out her legs to the Mkenya? There are people who have been walking around with the HIV virus for years without telling anybody so chances are there.
Two years is a long time when the 14 year old might have been running around with boys of all ages. Is there any way of establishing (beyond reasonable doubt) the number of boys the 14 year old has had sexual contacts with since she last distributed the goods to the Mkenya?
Given the “Africans have Aids” propaganda in the Swedish media, a rape case of a 14 year old white Swedish girl by an African could, under normal circumstances, have triggered an HIV test almost immediately to be followed by another test after six months because of the incubation period of the HIV virus. Since this did not happen, who will ever know if the minor contracted the virus six or eight months ago then remembered her quickie with the African before rushing to police to make her claims?
It is unfortunate that some African junkies within the blog community have already swallowed the Swedish media version of the story and are now payukaring uncritically from left, right and center. There are a myriad points that do not add up in this so called “HIV Mannen” story and it will be very interesting to see how the court handles it.
If the case sticks, Wakenya who have had relationships with white Swedish girls before dumping them might have reasons to worry. You might be preparing to go to work one morning only for police to knock on your door telling you that you are under arrest because you repeatedly raped a Swedish woman three years ago even if you never infected her with HIV.
In Sweden, rape cases are big business in terms of compensation and when the element of HIV infection is involved, only the alleged circumstances and medical reports dictate the price.
We are not trying to defend a crime here. From the perspective of KSB, the Swedish media reports have been unjustifiably biased against the Kenyan suspect and this is not new. KSB is following the case.