Monday, January 28, 2008

Criminal Silence

Deadly Silence
As we continue to receive reports of mayhem in the slum region of Kenya, one cannot help but ask who is silently motivating and arming those killers. Initially, they had to carry any bricks or pieces of logs they could find with which they dealt blows at their helpless victims until they were dead. Now they have started carrying machetes. Before long, they will start carrying more deadly weapons like rifles and explosives. And someone will argue that they are mere angry unemployed youths seeking to express their discontentment with the government "in a dramatic manner"; unleashing vegeance on a particular ethnic group. Is it not the same government that made two specific promises upon assumption of office in 2002, to wit, that it will try to jettison corruption at high places, and to improve on the economic relevance of the country? Both pledges, it had fulfilled. It beats me hollow to imagine that a man should go to pick up a deadly weapon like that, sit by the stone to sharpen it over a period of time and move from point A to point Z and fail to show any change of mind along the way; and goes ahead to hack down fellow human beings - big and small. Clearly this is a case of premeditated aggression. It is even more disheartening that the politicians whom one could hold responsible for encouraging these killings have preferred to keep silent; giving the impression that their hands are tied. The questions therefore arises as to how tight or tied their hands would be in terms of controlling the masses if they were given the mandate to rule. Who would want such a ruler? And the children that are being paraded as victims of Police high handedness. What responsible parent would allow his underaged child to join a gang of robbers being used by politicians to undermine the existence of their fellow citizens? Those parents do not have value for their children talk less of love and concern for their future. My deduction is that those children are being recruited without the consent of their parents, and are being used as human shield as well as a calculated ruse to intimidate the Pose and in turn give them a bad name before the international community. If the two elder statesmen from the depths of Ashanti town in Ghana could not resolve the political fiasco in Kenya, why would the international community fold their arms and watch innocent citizens perish? Let someone bell the cat.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Eye Witness Account

A Kenyan-based colleague of mine who happens to belong to the same Network as I do, has kindly reacted to my blog with the following revealing facts which I have reproduced in unabridged form. Read on.
"I just did not know how to move until Vincent Nana came online. Let me first congratulate this guy for his honest and objective approach to to the crisis in Kenya. Others such as John and his friend in South Africa were dishonest because they demonstrated a clear misunderstanding of the issue at hand. Probably I should clarify this; unlike Mbeki who wanted to extend his term of office beyond the two terms allowed in the constitution, Kibaki's was bidding for his second and final term as allowed in the constitution. No Kenyan, I repeat no Kenyan would allow him a third tirm however good he is.The issue was not illegal extension of one's term in office, it was whether, Kibaki won his second term fairly. On this one, i belief the most competent commentators would be kenyans who had lived with the process longer than any one else. Therefore It is dishonest and arrogance on any foreigner, be he a journalist of a foreign observer, to pretend to know our politics better than us.As for Yellow Journalism, i totally agree with Vincent that this time around, Journalists went overboard. The process did not begin with the election and the violence that accompanied it. Kenyan journalists, supposedly the freest in the world, lost it when they sold their services to the highest bidder. The process of lying began way back in 2006 when some began to produce copy for a price. At that time, they were attacking Equity bank, one of the most innovative and fast growing indigenously owned bank. That failed, so was the attack on a company calle East African Cables, owned principally by KIbaki's associates.According to a document dated November 9th, 2007,ODM set a side some Kshs 29.3 million (US$500,000) to bribe Journalists. Apart from Cash Hand outs, some were promised plum jobs at State House once ODM takes over the Government. That is why, I am told, ODM copy was handled by Managing Editors in our news rooms. We even saw some Managing Editors take the microphones and go to report in Kisumu, ODM's stronghold. With this kind of booty, and I cannot say that foreign correspondents did noot partake of the largesse, the death of the hated Kikuyu does not matter. To some journalists and their Editors in Kenya, the death of a kikuyu is not an issue, the oinly people who dies are ODM supporters. Even criiminal activies such as looting and plunder of Kikuyu owned assets by ODM goons is ignored for highlighting it drives their ambitions away. Those who read my copy earlier send would know the mess that the media made of the election results. The Media in Kenya let kenyan down. It actually betrayed their country.Having been bribed blind, most turned a blind eye to ODM's rigging practices. Rigging began long before observers came to the scene. ODM was the major culprit in rigging its candidates for Parliamentary seats. In Most cases the Party gave certificates to losers in the polls. Among these were one James Orengo who lost in the preliminary and still got the Party's nod stand the Ugenya seat which he won. Chances are, he was also rigged in this seat since the victor in the preliminaries was also standing on another party's ticket.Evidence emerging suggests that the attack on Policemen was an intimidation scheme as most kept away from the Polling station in Luo nyanza.This is an election offense which could costs ODM the election. It is because of its own involvement in tinkering with election results that ODM brands a legal matter a political one. LIke Vincent I do not see the benefits of mediation since no mediator has power to overturn the election results in Kenya except the High court. ODM cannot go to Court for that is where its own skeletons will be brought out.Ethnic hatred became the only campaign weapon since ODM's attempt to introduce other issues such as grand Corruption hit a cul de sac. The economy was growing and money was being put in the hands of rural economy, the famers, Livestock Keepers, etc through improved prices of their produce.Incindentally acording to a document allegedly from ODM and which the party has not denied to date, among the donors to its kitty were the the Kingpins of such massive looting scandals as: Goldenberg ( Kamlesh Pattni donated kshs 13.5 million), the Kamani Family which were the Kingpins of the Anglo leasing Scandal donated kshs 12.5 million). Others were Gun dealer Anura Pereira (Kshs 107 million) Joshua Kulei who led president Moi's gang of Robbers Donated kshs 45 million. One wonders how the party would have fought corruption in Kenya, while the corrupt put it in power.Dick Morriss and associates, an American Consultant specialsing in Plotting civillian Coups, Ksh 21.5 million; Republican Party of ther US Kshs 154 million, Friends of Barak Obama,a US presidential aspirant on a democratic Party ticket, Ksh 66 million. Other donors were: Landrover of UK and its Kenyan Franchise holder, CMC group, Kshs 75 million.Now you can see why EU and other foreigners are screaming murder as they see their ambitions on kenya go to waste. The relationship between President Kibaki and the so called donors was frosty during his first term. It was frosty because Kenya which boasts of the largest budget in East and Central Africa, it now stands at US$10 billion of which Kenyans finance 93 percent that is 9.3 billion. This has made Kenya a litte independent to the discomfort of the so-called donors. In fact the country has in the past 5 years been giving donors conditions instead of the other way round.Landrover must have been expecting to recover its lost market of supplying the Kenyan Police and Armed Forces with Landrovers.Others such as Germany must have been eteing the same market which has now been taken over by the Japanese vehicle makers. The Noise is basically pegged on self interest amon the so called "internationational community" Their investment in ODM has gone to waste and to salvage something, they are better off calling a legal affair political so that they can find some room to comment. What it will achieve, I cannot see. May we could discuss this. Will mediation resolve a legal Dispute issue in Kenya? Remember in my earlier copy I indicated that both parties were involved in tinkering with election results. ODM was simply outsmarted in its own game."
Musyoka wa KyendoNairobi, Kenya.
PS: Musyoka is a gentleman journalist. I have every reason to believe what he has written because he had in the past, through his write-ups, proved to be a trustworthy writer with indefatigable resolve to state the truth even when it hurts his person.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Media Bias on Kenya

Google Search
I have been mute on the Kenya saga because of the seeming 'yellow' journalism coverage of the issue by even highly respected media. Suppose at the end of the day, it is discovered that the incumbent did actually win, how can one remedy all the destruction of lives, character assassinations and wanton vandalisation of property that have been pepertruated by the so-called angered faction against fellow country-men?
Imagine the unguarded and provocative utterances of the opposition which have continued to infuriate rather than tame the hoodlums into killing their kinsmen in the style of Tutsi and their brothers of recent memory. The opposition has gone on air a million times to count the number of rioters who have been shot at by the Police. They have shown no remorse over the killing of scores of the Kikuyus and the destruction of their properties, looting, raping their women, maiming and traumatising innocent children by the opposition supporters. As far as I am concerned, this is the height of insensitivity at high places. The incumbent President has come on air only three times during all these turmoil, and has in no wise incited anybody into violence or revenge. What will the opposition gain by calling on the international communities to impose sanctions as if it had to do with strangling Kibaki as a person? If the unfortunate millions of Kenyans suffer or even die as a result of these stringent measures, who will the sadists rule when they come to the supposed distinguished or exalted seat? Politics is not a 'do or die affair' (apologies to ex-President Obasanjo of Nigeria). If one loses an opportunity to serve his people in one capacity at any given point in time, he could still show them love in so many other ways. In fact, his philanthropic gesture at a time like that will naturally endear him to their hearts, and would autamatically earn their votes next time around. Why must we be in such a hurry if the motive is not to serve self interest.

Monday, January 07, 2008


If there is any one African country that deserves recognition more than others, it is Benin republic. Its democratic posture is worthy of emulation by any country that values the interest of its ctiizens.Benin had divested itself of Socialist apparatus by 1990 following a National Conference that gave it a Democratic dispensation which has continued to flourish day by day.The 2006 Presidential Election was the closest and hottest contest Benin ever witnessed. Yet is went without any disturbing incident,inspite of the fact that more than twenty-six aspirants from almost fifty political parties, associations and alliances were in the race। Surprisingly, a non-starter, running on ‘no party’ ticket emerged victorious। The 2007 Parliamentary elections was no less successful। There were more than two thousand (2000) candidates contesting for 83 seats.Since his assumption of office, the two-times doctorate degree holder in Economics, President Thomas Boni Yayi has proved that the peoples’ votes were not cast in vain. The country which had an economic index of 2.9% in 2005 was catapulted up to 5.3% by 2007 with a projection of hitting 7% plus by 2008.Some of the remarkable evidences of Dr. Boni Yayi’s good governance are his Micro-economic policy and free education package which have benefitted even the least petty traders, fishermen, farmers and craftsmen acorss the country. Needless to mention that members of the Fourth Estate of the realm have so far enjoyed relative cordial camaraderie, and the bliss is not likely to degenerate.The three major religious entities recognised by the government, to wit ; Christianity with an estimated 28% population, Muslim – 21%, Non-Religious – 6% and Voodou traditional religion with 35% ; all enjoy equal participation in national affairs. Ethnic rivalty and xenophobia which tended to portray the country in bad light have since been relegated to the back stage.High profile public officers including those from the Judiciary, the Police and the Military, who have in one way or another been indicted for crimes or abuse of office have been brought to justice like any other citizen. These stringent measures have resulted in the recovery of huge sums of financial loot and confiscation of assets by the government. The government’s Decentralisation policy has brought developmental infrastructure to the grassroots and is spreading up at a speedy rate. Finally, the combined efforts of the Media cannot fail of being commended. But for these selfless services, avian flu which is very much lurking around our backyard would have had a toll on the populace. Information, indeed is power.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Arriving late at the Aflao border from Ghana to Benin republic, Mr. Koffi stopped to pass the night as it was not possible to continue the night journey following the official shut down of the frontiers after 9.00p.m. The scene at the border could be likened to a pilgrim camping or some refugee camp with people littered all over the place. The Bar-man in the one and only lodging at the border, seeing the desperate need for rooms, offered his room to Koffi and a girl he had been discussing with which offer they promptly jumped to in anticipation of snatching some wink if only for a few minutes.
Nancy quickly arched herself onto the one-passenger bed, leaving Koffi with the option of squeezing in with no space between them. The situation was desperate, and such compromising closeness did not matter any more. At first, they slept like two innocent boarding house room-mates. But the sensations of opposite sex metabolism soon beclouded their sense of reasoning as they both, like consenting adults, locked themselves in warm embrace with lips gummed together in what looked like an inseparable eternity. Koffi’s heart pounded heavily that it did not need a doctor’s stethoscope to hear it. Amidst groaning and whining, the lady managed to utter the words, “I AM POSITIVE”. Koffi’s spontaneous reaction to those words was like thunderbolt. He instantly jolted out of bed, slumping to the floor in his flight and temporarily paralyzed by that shocking disclosure from Nancy who was indeed HIV Positive.
After the devastating shock of Nancy’s confession had subsided, Koffi who is a secondary school teacher made a resolve to launch HIV/AIDS campaign at schools around the country. It became obvious to Koffi that in spite of all the human efforts aimed at arresting the spread of the one epidemic that has defied all known medical and unorthodox therapy, HIV/AIDS continues to sound to many people as some sort of alien from outer space. Most people especially in the rural areas of African environments are never able to differentiate between HIV/AIDS and other common sexually-transmitted diseases such as Syphilis or Gonorrhoea; and so attempt to treat them with the same approach. Among the academic class in the cities, the level of awareness is not appreciably higher than the urban scenario.
During the workshop which lasted over one month, the unexpected turnout forced the organizers to reduce the participation age and other criteria in order to accommodate the overwhelming demand. Parents were no less enthusiastic in encouraging their wards to get really involved.
According to the Co-ordinator of the program some of the topics discussed include Handling Teens, Sexually Transmitted Infection, HIV/AIDS, Teens pregnancy and Abortion, Teens and Sexuality, among others.
An estimated 22.4 million adults and children were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2008. During that year, an estimated 1.4 million Africans died from AIDS. Around 14.1 million children have lost one or both parents to the epidemic. The following data shows HIV/AIDS prevalence in Benin Republic as at the period 2008:

People living with AIDS = 190,000; Percentage of Adults aged between 15 – 49 = 1.2%; Women = 37,000; Children = 5,400;
AIDS Deaths = 3,300; Orphans due to HIV/AIDS = 29,000. Source: GRADES-AFRICA®

According to some of the participants, the workshop has opened their eyes to so many health and sex-related information that are not ordinarily taught in the school curriculum. They expressed the need to have more of such extra-curricular activities for the benefit of the teeming number of endangered youths both in schools and around the communities.