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Thursday, January 31, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Ainamoi MP fatally shot

An opposition lawmaker was gunned down by a police officer Thursday in the second fatal shooting of an opposition legislator this week amid ethnic fighting sparked by Kenya's disputed presidential election, officials said.

Police chief Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali said the police officer, who has been arrested, shot David Too in a dispute over the officer's girlfriend. The opposition said it was an assassination plot. ODM chairman Henry Kosgey told a news conference that witnesses had reported seeing Too shot as he traveled by car from Nairobi to Eldoret. Angry residents marched on the police station after the shooting, but ran away as paramilitary officers fired into the air.

Within minutes of the news reaching Kisumu, gangs of men armed themselves with machetes and set up burning barricades. Businesses shut down and workers began to flee from the town centre. The killing came as negotiators began the first day of talks to resolve the country's deadly election dispute, and the head of the African Union warned the country was turning to ethnic cleansing, and even genocide. ODM secretary-general Anyang Nyongo said it was "part of an evil scheme" to kill legislators and rob the opposition of its majority in parliament.

Eldoret Deputy Police Chief Gabriel Kuya said the traffic officer had discovered that his girlfriend was having an affair with Too, and chased the two on his motorcycle when he saw them together in a car. "He drove toward the side of the woman and shot her in the stomach twice. Her partner (Too) pleaded with the officer not to kill her but he turned his pistol on him instead, hitting him four times in the head," Kuya said. But that statement seems odd, as traffic police are not normally armed.

At an AU summit in Ethiopia, chairman Alpha Konare said, "Kenya is a country that was a hope for the continent. Today, if you look at Kenya you see violence on the streets. We are even talking about ethnic cleansing, we are even talking about genocide. We cannot sit with our hands folded." Kenya's "President" Mwai Kibaki listened from the front row. Opposition leader Raila Odinga's party rejects his December 27 re-election as flawed, and tried to prevent him from attending by appealing to the 52-nation bloc not to recognize him. The international community and international and local observers agree that Kibaki's razor-thin victory came because of a rigged vote tally.

Back in Nairobi, six negotiators — three representing Kibaki and three representing Odinga — were meeting under the mediation of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "The mood is serious. They can feel the weight of the nation on their shoulders," said Annan spokesman Nasser Ega-Musa. Odinga has said he wants a new election, while Kibaki has made clear he will not negotiate his position as president.

Annan has said it could take a month to resolve the immediate dispute over the election and a year to map out a plan for dealing with decades-old ethnic animosities and land disputes underlying the violence. Much of the violence has pitted other tribes, including the Luo, against the Kikuyu. Kikuyus, Kenya's largest ethnic group, have long been resented for their dominance of Kenya's economy and politics. Hundreds of Kikuyus have been killed, and members of the group account for more than half of the 300,000 chased from their homes, most in the Rift Valley. Human rights groups and others accuse politicians of orchestrating some of the violence. The top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, said Wednesday that she believed the month of violence has descended into ethnic cleansing. But Frazer said she did not consider the killings genocide.

Kikuyus "forcibly recruited" into Mungiki

A Kikuyu man (who wishes to remain anonymous) in Naivasha describes how members of an outlawed sect - the Mungiki - are forcibly recruiting members of their Kikuyu ethnic group to kill non-Kikuyus allied to the opposition...

"It is really disgusting. People are being killed and burnt in their houses, even one person was buried alive ... buried alive! And other people are just watching.

There are gangs of Kikuyu coming knocking from door-to-door. But I really don't think they are from Naivasha - people know that Naivasha is usually a safe place, a place where people like peace. But these people are coming and forcing people here to fight. So that's why they are going house-to-house making sure that if you are a Kikuyu, you have to come out and fight. But if you are not a Kikuyu, they just kill you immediately.

Not long ago they came into our estate and demanded the keys to the gate. They used a petrol bomb to frighten us, telling us if we don't come out, they'll burn us. Luckily, I managed to hide under the bed. Where they are targeting right now is Naivasha prison. The Kikuyus are going to the prison and they want to get the Luos and the Nandis who have gone there to seek refuge. Gangs of Kikuyus are outside the prison and burning houses nearby but the police - there are many of them there - but it is like they are relaxed. They are not doing anything, just shooting, shooting, shooting [up in the air] but not stopping these people from getting closer to the prison. These Kikuyus that are doing all this - it is a kind of revenge. In Naivasha it is revenge for what has been happening in other areas where Kikuyus have been killed."

Another ODM MP assassinated!

News reaching Siasa Duni is that another ODM member of parliament has been killed... even before the late Hon. Were is laid to rest.

Ainamoi MP David Too was ostensibly killed by traffic police, but reports are few and far between. ODM chairman Henry Kosgey said Too was killed at a roadblock as he drove from Nairobi to Eldoret. His body now lies in the Moi Teaching and Referal hospital, Eldoret. It seems Kibaki is still reeling from the shock he got on the first day of the 10th Parliament, and is determined to even out the numbers in the august House by eliminating opposition members. We will update you as and when we can confirm concrete details.

Zuma adds to anti-Kibaki tirade

Jacob Zuma, who survived rape and corruption charges to become South Africa's president-in-waiting, has only harsh words for Kenya and Nigeria, where recent elections were marred by alleged fraud, violence and disputed results: "What has happened in Kenya I think is absolutely not right," Zuma said on Saturday in an interview with the Associated Press. "It does not help to advance the case for the African continent."

Kagame suggests military option for Kenya

Rwanda’s Paul Kagame has suggested a military option to solve the Kenya crisis. The leader of Rwanda, a country that suffered genocide in 1994, said intervention by the military may be the only way to halt Kenya's escalating ethnic bloodshed. "This is a case of emergency where certain things have to be done very quickly to stop the killings that are going on. There's no time to go into niceties and debates when the killings are taking place," Kagame told Reuters.

Unrest in Kenya since President Mwai Kibaki's disputed re-election last month has killed more than 850 people. Though Kenyans are horrified by the brutal events in their usually peaceful nation, the situation is far from the ethnic slaughter that killed 800,000 people in Rwanda in a three-month bloody killing spree that shocked the world in 1994.

Kagame said the Kenyan army might have to take over before things get worse. "I know that it is not fashionable and right for the army to get involved in such a political situation. But in situations where institutions have lost control, I wouldn't mind such a solution," he said. "I tend to believe that the Kenyan army is professional and has been stable," he added in the interview late on Tuesday.

Kagame, a former rebel leader who marched on Kigali as the genocide was taking place, said he backed mediation efforts headed by former U.N. head Kofi Annan, and that any military takeover should only be temporary. "I tend to suggest that whatever may be in terms of leadership that is in Kenya should be swept aside and space be created for people to go back on the drawing board and settle their grievances," Kagame said. As with other countries in the region, Rwanda's economy has been affected by the chaos in Kenya, as goods and fuel which travel by road from the Indian Ocean coast have been blocked.
Kagame said Kenya ought to learn a lesson from Rwanda's bloody history. "It starts with five deaths, then 10, then 50, shortly it grows to 100, then it goes into thousands ... by the time you realise, it has a dimension that is wiping out life in villages and communities and is getting out of control, the whole political situation is in a mess," he said.

"There's a serious tragic situation taking place in Kenya, especially when you look at the numbers of people that are being killed, how they are being killed. Despite all mediation efforts you see the situation not getting better, but worse." Kagame said he knew his suggestion of a military intervention was a radical one. "I might sound controversial, but in the wake of such senseless killings with no immediate solution, if anybody suggested that (military) option to me, I would say I agree with it," he said. "It is not too late for Kenyans to look back and see how our country went down the drain in the past and I don't think we would wish a similar thing for any country."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Alfred Ng'ang'a Mutua has lost the plot

I came across some advertisements in Ng'ang'a site (http://www.communication.go.ke/ukweli/default.asp) and I'm amazed at the lengths Kibaki will go to entrench himself in power. All he'd have to do to stop the upheaval would be to call for a recount. But he, like everyone else, knows Raila won in 6 Provinces, and he could only manage Central and Eastern. I don't know about you guys but this looks like solid propaganda to me... and why are they targeting Maina Kiai? He's the only person who's listening to the actual wananchi, if you ask me. Personally, I find Ng'ang'a's novice attempt at propaganda laughable, and quite honestly, very desperate. Judge for yourselves...











And here's a real gem from the good doctor, and now writer of local soap operas extraordinaire:


WHY GOVERNMENT HAS CANCELLED LIVE BROADCAST
The Government by requesting media houses not to air live press conferences and call-ins into radio shows wants to empower editors to be in control of the information relayed by their media houses.

In the prevailing environment, some people are using the media to call for violence and to incite members of the public to engage in violence. By running these comments live, at the prevailing emotional state of many citizens, can be dangerous. However, editors are free to screen whatever they want a few minutes later after they have reviewed the material.


Dr. Alfred N. Mutua, EBS
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY &
GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON

More pictures of "The Horror in Naivasha"


















Hi! This pic may have been posted somewhere else online but I got it yesterday and I know you may want to share it with your readers. Bado mapambano!
-Acolyte

Blogger's note: Thanks, Acolyte, for this high-resolution pic. Now the whole world can see what Mungiki are really capable of. As for those who asked for evidence, feast your twisted minds. I have more, which I will upload shortly... as soon as I can get these sick images off my mind. And now to Kibaki: is this what you were elbowing your way to State House for? I hope it's worth it, sir!

Who actually owns Equity Bank? (Guest post)

Besides the fact that Transcentury holds a direct stake in Equity bank, it also holds a stake through Britak, which in turn has a large shareholding of Equity Bank.

Recently, Transcentury also bought the maximum stake allowable for one shareholder of a bank in Kenya (24.9%) though their holding in Helios EB Partners. Helios Partners is a foreign incorporated company that recently got new investors in the form of Transcentury and more than half the money invested by Transcentury ($300M = Ksh 19.5B) came in to increase the capital of Equity Bank (This amount was approx Ksh 11B). The Finance Minster decided to look the other side as this transaction happened right under his nose. He even gave this group the exception from any scrutiny of who the shareholders are for 9 years.

Essentially, we will never know who the investors are for 9 years in this bank. Why would the government official make an unprecedented decision to exclude them from a regulation to protect consumers in such a sensitive sector? The reason could be to be to hide the fact that the ‘foreign investment’ is actually local investors and the fact that the same local investors have violated the max. Shareholding rules for banks. Picture this…

• Maximum Shareholding allowable to a shareholder who is not an executive = 24.9%

• Equity bank holding through Britak = 10%

• Equity Bank holding as Transcentury directly = aprox 3+%

Clearly, Transcentury now holds more that 38% of Equity Bank! Proof of this available at http://www.transcentury.co.ke/transcentury/portfolio.asp

For the government officer involved… what was in it for him? For the government? Think of Equity bank chairman in London with PNU chaps openly campaigning for PNU and rubbishing ODM… do you start to get the picture?

Issue with Diversity at Equity Bank
We have established that the majority shareholder is Transcentury, now other issue is almost all senior managers of the bank are from one community. Over 85% of the employees in the bank are from the same community. The converse is that more than 50% of the banks customers are drawn from all the ethnic communities of this country. How do you support a company that does not promote diversity? There are multitudes of Private companies that do not promote diversity, but the duty for a listed company is to represent all Kenyans in its workforce and Equity is not exempted. If they exempt themselves, then we tell their customers so they can choose if that’s acceptable.

Business Model
Most people defending Equity bank never fail to mention that it has helped the poor and I support that, but this particular business model targeting the millions at the bottom of the pyramid is no longer unique to Equity Bank. We have leading financial institutions like Barclays, KCB following suit and doing it well with their deep pockets. KCB as a local bank and deserves our support, Barclays too because in as much as it’s about capitalism for its shareholders, they promote diversity internally in their recruiting.

IPO (Initial Public Offer)
Please note that Equity bank is the only listed company that got listed on the NSE without selling any new shares, so it wasn’t an initial public offer per se but a listing. The difference is it retains the exact shareholding when on the NSE as before with no dilution at all. These and only these shareholders were able to benefit with this listing, and later, the secondary buyers and sellers on the NSE. The best way to say this is they got credibility out of the listing without offering anything to the public.

Tell tale signs of the success of the Boycott:

• A day after word spread around on this, I had a chat with some staff members and one mentioned that they stopped 2 days ago paying cash against uncleared cheques even for a fee.
• Share starts the downward trend and will be a good sign that ODMs strategy is working.
• Few to no deposits in Equities branches in Western and Rift Valley. The first sign of a run on the bank and I am sure the CBK will come and rescue them by closing these branches due to the ethnic connections they have.
• Equity bank website www.equitybank.co.ke is now down. Reason? You and I can speculate that they have something to hide… I was looking for the IPO briefing document that listed the largest shareholders, but doubt you will find it again. I had to revert to an earlier download.

Eventually really, if they can balance the staff and hiring to represent the face of Kenya without bias, and I am sure they can find skilled talent from all ethnic communities, though they choose otherwise, then the boycott should be re-considered.

(Siasa Duni: Please publish this as a contribution article to Siasa Duni instead of as a comment. Hopefully this will provide a forum to justify the reasons why these institutions have been selected for the boycott and you can call on more articles on Brookside, Citti Hoppa etc)

Another suggestion on the boycott campaign is to brand it a “Kenyan Company Diversity” campaign to show that this is not about one community but ensuring a better Kenya for all)

-Mark

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Signs that the Kenyan massacre was planned
















At first the violence seemed as spontaneous as it was shocking, with machete-wielding mobs hacking people to death and burning women and children alive in a country that was celebrated as one of Africa’s most stable.

But a closer look at what has unfolded in the past three weeks, since a deeply flawed election plunged Kenya into chaos, shows that some of the bloodletting that has left more than 650 people dead may have been premeditated and organised. Leaflets calling for ethnic killings mysteriously appeared before the voting. Politicians with both the government and opposition parties gave speeches that stoked long-standing hatred among ethnic groups. And local tribal chiefs held meetings to plot attacks on rivals, according to some of them and their followers.

As soon as the election results were announced, handing a suspiciously thin margin of victory to Kenya’s president, Mwai Kibaki — whose policies of favoring his own ethnic group have marginalized about half the country — all the elements lined up for the violence to explode. Thousands of young men swept the countryside, burning homes and attacking members of rival ethnic groups. The killings go on. On Friday, six bodies arrived at a morgue in the town of Narok, northwest of Nairobi, some with deep spear wounds. On a strip of white medical tape affixed to the victims’ foreheads was written their names, dates of death and the cause: “Post-elections violence.”

“It wasn’t like people just woke up and started fighting each other,” said Dan Juma, the acting deputy director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission. “It was organized.”

What is not clear is if there was a systematic plan to start a nationwide ethnic war, and whether high-level political leaders played a role beyond possibly inciting violence through hate speech. Before the election, it was easy to forget that even Kenya, with its reputation as an African success story and land of tolerance, was split along ethnic lines that are ripe for political manipulation. The grievances, typically about land, economic opportunity and political power, are real and often justified, though usually held in check.

Nowhere are those tensions more evident than in the Rift Valley of western Kenya, which has some of the most fabled and productive land in Africa but recently has been turned into a scene out of “The Grapes of Wrath,” with tens of thousands of desperate people fleeing in battered pickups piled high with beds, chairs, blankets and children. Some trucks are so overloaded their bumpers hang just millimeters above the road. The violence here is decidedly different from that which grinds on in Kenya’s slums, where police officers have opened fire on unarmed demonstrators and rival gangs prowl alleys with rocks in their hands. In the Rift Valley, people do not keep their hatreds or activities secret. Those who have taken part in the killings say the attacks were community efforts, sanctioned by elders and guided by traditions that celebrate a warrior culture.

On a recent day, a dozen young men with faces smeared with mud stepped out of the forest near Keringet. They were from the Kalenjin ethnic group and said they had killed 20 people this month. They were armed with bows, arrows, clubs and knives. Some wore animal skins with cellphones tucked in the folds. Rono Kibet, one of the men, said elders in his community called a big meeting on December 30. That was the night that Kenya’s election results were announced, giving Kibaki the victory over Raila Odinga, the top opposition leader, despite widespread evidence of vote rigging. More than 2,000 young men gathered, Kibet said, and the elders urged them to kill Kikuyus, and burn down their houses. The Kalenjin had fought them before. “The community raised the money for the gasoline,” Kibet said.

He explained how the elders blessed the young men, who then split into teams of 50 to hunt down Kikuyus with bows and arrows. He did not feel bad about shooting them, he said. “We attack people, we burn their homes and then we take their animals,” Kibet said matter-of-factly. A few villages away and a couple of hours later, Kikuyu farmers scanned the hilltops with a pair of old field glasses that never seemed quite in focus. They carried homemade guns built of wood, water pipes and umbrella springs, highly illegal but highly necessary, they said. Some of the sentinels were among the most educated people in the area. One, Wilson Muiruri, a University of Nairobi student, was spending his Christmas holiday moonlighting as a warrior. “I don’t hate Kalenjins at the university,” he said. “But out here, it’s different.”

In Nairobi, a senior Kenyan police official cracked open a thick binder, with the subject line “ETHNIC CLASHES,” that revealed evidence of what he called a pattern of highly orchestrated mayhem in the Rift Valley. According to the reports, a nine-foot ditch had been cut in an asphalt road by an earth mover, apparently to prevent authorities from being able to get to conflict zones to intervene; thousands of armed men had suddenly materialized in thinly populated villages; and a roadblock had been built with 10 tons of concrete. "You don’t move 10 tons of concrete on your back,” said the police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to share this information publicly. “This is a full military operation.” Most clashes are in rural areas, which are difficult for the police to reach, and the government strategy so far has been to use military escorts to evacuate the people who want to leave.

But government officials are part of the problem.

About a month before the election, the police found a large weapons cache — 20 bows, 50 arrows, 30 clubs, 30 machetes and 30 swords — in a government car belonging to an assistant minister, a member of Kibaki’s PNU party. The assistant minister, who was not in the car at the time and has denied involvement, has yet to be charged. In any case, several residents in the Rift Valley and local aid workers said parliamentary candidates had been arming young men, though no arrests had been made.

Although the authorities have not produced any evidence directly linking top politicians to violence, human rights groups documented speeches by political leaders assailing certain ethnic groups in the run-up to the election. William Ruto was quoted talking about Kikuyu domination. Kikuyu politicians, meanwhile, made disparaging remarks about Luos and about how Raila Odinga was not fit to rule because he is uncircumcised. At the same time, fliers appeared in several towns in the Rift Valley telling Kikuyus to leave. “Warning! Warning! Warning!” read one flier. “Anyone who does not obey will die.” In some cases, the literature seemed to be part of a campaign of dirty tricks to tarnish rivals. In November, a document surfaced in Nairobi, marked confidential and supposedly written by opposition leaders, that laid out a strategy to use “ethnic tensions/violence as a last resort.” “It’s absolutely fake,” said Peter Wanyande, an opposition strategist whose name appears on the document with the wrong first name. “Our opponents are the ones using ethnic violence. It’s terrible.”

The government is blaming opposition supporters and their leaders for the Rift Valley bloodshed, especially the episode in which up to 50 women and children seeking sanctuary in a church were burned alive. “This is ethnic cleansing,” said Alfred Ng'ang'a Mutua, spokesman for the illegitimate Kenyan government. Several local chiefs of the Kalenjin and Masai communities said they held meetings before the election discussing how they would attack Kikuyus and push them off their land. Top opposition politicians have said they were not involved and that there were no plans for violence. “The problem was created at the spur of the moment when the elections were stolen,” Ruto said.

The disappointing reality is that all this has happened before in Kenya: the same places, the same ethnic fault lines, even the same tactics, down to the mud-smeared faces. Both of the times that ethnic violence has swept across the Rift Valley, the early 1990s and now, local tensions have been ignited by politics. The problem starts with land. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kikuyus from the central highlands of Kenya acquired large farms, some legally, some questionably through their connections to Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, a Kikuyu.

That planted a grudge with local groups like the Kalenjin and Masai. Kenya’s president in 1991, Daniel arap Moi, exploited the hard feelings for his own agenda. Moi, a Kalenjin, was facing re-election, and he used his network of police chiefs and tribal elders to attack Kikuyus and other ethnic groups affiliated with the nascent opposition movement. The clashes claimed more than 1,000 lives, and though they had subsided by the late 1990s, they never really stopped. And this recent election cycle, once again, was primed for disaster.

For the first time since the 1960s, two heavyweights from rival ethnic groups squared off in a hotly contested race, giving it an inevitable ethnic tinge. The backdrop was growing resentment toward Kikuyus, partly because Kibaki had put Kikuyus in charge of the most powerful positions in Kenya. Many Kalenjin in the Rift Valley felt their time for redress had come. Raila Odinga was polling well and promised to implement a policy called majimbo, which means something like federalism, but has been misinterpreted by many, mainly members of Kibaki's PNU party, to imply the eviction of ethnic groups (namely the Kikuyus) from areas not native to them.

Kibet, the Kalenjin fighter, explained how at 14 he was sent into the forest for a few months to be circumcised and learn the ways of his people. He was taught how to shoot a bow and crack a skull with a wooden club. He described a transformation that he and his friends routinely make, shedding their jeans and day jobs for war paint and clubs. “The Kikuyu are our enemy because they are on our land,” he said. “It is not good to kill their women or children. But to kill one of their men, that is an achievement.”

Bill on "Kenyan Crisis" tabled in the US Senate

A Bill has been tabled in the US Senate to discuss the political standoff in Kenya, with a view of giving America’s position on the crisis.

Initially introduced by Senator Russell Dana ‘Russ’ Feingold from Wisconsin for himself and his colleague John E. Sununu of New Hampshire, the senators now want President George W. Bush to declare his stand on the crisis in Kenya. The senators also say President Bush should support efforts facilitating dialogue.

In addition, the Bill proposes personal sanctions, travel bans and an asset freeze on PNU and ODM leaders and other actors who refuse to engage in meaningful dialogue to end the current crisis. “The US should review its aid to Kenya for the purpose of restricting all non-essential assistance to Kenya unless all parties are able to establish a peaceful political resolution,” the Bill says. This Bill is in the first step of the legislative process. In America, Bills first go to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go to general debate. But most Bills never make it out of the committee stage. And sometimes the text of one Bill is incorporated into another.

On January 25, this particular Bill was sent to the foreign relations committee. Co-sponsors of the Bill include probable presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, whose ancestry is traced to Nyanza Province in Kenya. The others are: senators Joseph Biden, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Samuel Brownback, Benjamin Cardin, Norm Coleman, Christopher Dodd, Richard Durbin, Charles Hagel, Thomas Harkin, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry, Robert Menéndez and Olympia Snowe. “There should be a thorough and credible independent audit of election results with the possibility, depending on what is discovered, of a re-count or re-tallying of presidential votes or a re-run of presidential election within a specified time period,” the senators stated.

They also urged an end to restrictions on the media and rights of peaceful assembly.

BREAKING NEWS: Mungiki despatched to Nyanza & Western Provinces

We are reliably informed that the proscribed Mungiki have landed in Nyanza and Western Provinces.

The first detachment of this rag-tag, government-armed-and-funded militia arrived in Kisumu for their nefarious mission aboard 6 vehicles, registration numbers: KAC 258E, KAY 658D, KAE 126A, KAV 847L, KAJ 194K and KBA 209N. Their brief is clear and single-minded: mass massacres by way of night raids in social places, boarding schools, churches and slums.

violence escalates as ODM MP is assassinated

Nairobi's Kibera estate erupted into chaos as reports of the murder of Embakasi MP, Melitus Mugabe Were reached residents. This came just hours after the Orange Democratic Movement's MP was shot dead at his Nairobi home in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. His supporters took to the streets, lit born fires and engaged police in running battles. Angry mourners assembled at the MP's Woodley home, but were at one point dispersed when anti-riot police launched tear gas canisters in the compound!

According to a witness, Were was alone in his car when he was shot dead by unknown people. He was waiting for the watchman to open the gate when two people pulled him from his car and shot him twice in the head. He was pronounced dead at the Nairobi hospital where his family had rushed him. Police have apparently launched investigations, but ODM leader, Raila Odinga, said it was clear the MP was assassinated by enemies of the party.

In Kibera, armed youths attacked people at Laini Saba where most residents remained indoors. Tension remained high. Ferdinard Nyamweya, a resident, said he was blocked by machete wielding youths as he went to work. "The angry youths, ostensibly looking for members of a particular community, blocked the way and told us to go back if we wanted peace. I had to abandon going to work to save my skin,'' said Nyamweya. Several people were injured as the area turned to a no-go zone.

Were is the first politician to die amid violence that has gripped the country since the disputed presidential poll. ODM spokesman, Salim Lone, called on people "to be peaceful and to only respond to violence by shunning violence".

Mystery man breaches Museveni's security cordon

An unknown man on Saturday beat President Museveni's security and made it to several feet of the president. This bizzare incident occured as Museveni was presiding over the national celebrations to mark the 22nd NRA victory anniversary at Kololo Airstrip, Kampala.

As Museveni was informing the nation on how his Cabinet had reviewed the the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) programme to block the misuse of funds, an unidentified young man emerged from a tent of government supporters. Beating security in a scene reminiscent of a high school rugby match, he ran up to a few metres from the platform where the President was speaking from. Soldiers of the Presidential Guard Brigade dashed to the scene and struggled with the determined youngster who repeatedly shouted: “Mundeke” (Leave me alone). As the PGB soldiers wrestled the intruder to the ground, he kicked and shouted: “Pulezidenti kwata" (President, have this), as he brandished a piece of paper. One security operative grabbed the piece of paper as the young man was led away. The President, who watched the scene from the podium, remarked: “Temumufaako. Alina ensongaze" (Don’t mind him. He has his issues). PGB spokesperon Edison Kwesiga later said the man had been handed over to the Police. “We don’t interrogate. Check with the Police,” he said when asked who the man was and what he wanted. The officers at the Kololo Police post, however, were tight-lipped. “This matter is beyond us,” they said.

This is the sixth time Museveni’s security is being breached. On October 9, 1993 a man called John Mukwaya beat security to salute Museveni.

At the Independence Day celebrations in 2000, an unidentified man handed over a card to the President as he spoke at the podium. Two years later, Abdallah Bilal Twombayi, dressed in a dirty white tunic and slippers, tried to break through the tight security detail to give visiting Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo a letter during the 40th anniversary celebrations.

On January 26, 2005, Ann Namara tried to reach the President. As security personnel moved over to block her, Museveni reprimanded them: “Mumuwache!" (Let her be!) She was arrested a few months later in Hoima as she again tried to approach an army jeep from where Museveni addressed a rally.

The President wound up his speech by laughing at critics who continue to predict that some kind of whirlwind will sweep away his regime. “Where can a whirlwind take NRM? At what speed would that tornado be moving to sweep the Movement out of government? That’s a mere dream!” He urged the people to continue supporting the NRM, saying it was the only organisation that could guarantee peace and guard the achievements attained. “Your role is small: Support and leave the rest for the Movement to do.”

First pictures of Mungiki's "revenge" on Luos in Naivasha

We can now show you the first pictures coming in of Mungiki's brutality. The proscribed but government (read PNU, formely KANU) funded and police uniform-wearing-and-government-armed militia are back, ladies and gentlemen. And their target? Anyone opposing Kibaki's illegitimate regime. But unfortunately, the violence unleashed, based on a gross miscalculation is now taking a much bigger toll. President Moi is now hospitalised, no doubt his heart "breaking" from the ghastly scene unfolding before his very eyes. Even his mismanagement of Kenya didn't take us through the wire Kibaki has now taken Kenya. And for what, I ask?

Ranneberger: misguided bid to be even-handed?

Allow me to digress...

Now I want to refer to the article by US ambassador Michael Ranneberger (Daily Nation, January 22), in which he says that “there is ample evidence of vote tallying irregularities at the constituency level in their respective strongholds by both sides”, and secondly that the ECK “collapsed under the pressure of the ‘win at any cost’ attitude of both major parties”.

I don’t know whether this is an attempt to demonstrate even-handedness, but if so, it is misguided.

During the recent General Election, all the presiding and returning officers and polling clerks, whether in ODM strongholds or elsewhere, were appointed and posted by the ECK. The registers, ballot papers and ballot boxes were all under the control of the Government and ECK. The tallying mechanisms at polling stations, constituency tallying centres and KICC were under the control of the Electoral Commission. In fact, ODM was so locked out that it was not even able to protect its own victory from being stolen in front of its very eyes, and in front of the eyes of the world.

How then is ODM supposed to have penetrated this system in order to introduce rigging?

These matters were carefully explained to the US envoy, Jendayi Frazer, by Hon. Raila Odinga himself. It is therefore surprising to see Ranneberger raising them again. If the ambassador has “ample evidence” of ODM rigging, it would be interesting if he could produce it. As for the ECK collapsing under pressure, the ECK chairman, Samuel Kivuitu, has publicly admitted that he announced the “result” under pressure from PNU and ODM Kenya. He did not mention ODM. So Ranneberger is telling us what we all know.

Asking for truth and justice is not evidence of a “win at any cost” attitude. It is evidence of respect for the law and respect for the decision of the electorate. One would expect an ambassador to draw this distinction.

Kenya refugee report

Kenya's post-election violence has displaced more than 300,000 and forced more than 6,000 to flee the country as refugees.

There are numerous reports of Kikuyu refugees who have fled the horrors of machete-wielding and other armed mobs for the relative safety of Uganda. There are also reports of Kalenjin refugees in Uganda. Unfortunately, there appears to be an attempt to portray Kalenjin refugees and, more generally, Kalenjins in a negative light. Most reports on Kalenjin refugees have focused on a few malicious elements, two to be exact, who attempted to poison Kikuyu refugees who shared their camp. Although there are many interviews with normal Kikuyu people housed in refugee camps in Uganda, there are practically none about the normal Kalenjin people who are also being housed in those camps. It is against this negative backdrop that readers are left to fill in the blanks and, thereby, to stereotype all Kalenjins based on the actions of a few.

This kind of reporting is in line with previous attempts by the western media to paint certain ethnic groups in a negative light. Most Luos will recall that the burning of the Assemblies of God church in Eldoret was blamed on Luos until it was discovered that the perpetrators were, in fact, not Luo but Kalenjin. The western media, largely ignorant of Kenya's tribal diversity, has failed to adequately convey the complexity of the crisis in Kenya. It has, by and large, ignored Britain's complicity in this tragedy via that country's "divide and rule" tactics--a strategy that in practice favored the Kikuyus economically and politically. Western media has, for example, failed to report how the British sold the land that had previously belonged to the Kalenjin and the Maasai to Kikuyus. The issues of political assassinations and land rights that are particularly central to the grievances of members of the Luo, Kalenjin, and Maasai tribes have been all but ignored.

So too has the western media failed to adequately report the post-election violence suffered by members of these tribes. Despite pleas from Kenyans everywhere and despite reports featured prominently on this blog, the mainstream western media did nothing to uncover Museveni and the Ugandan military's involvement in the violence in Nyanza and Rift Valley Provinces. This is particularly troubling, given the recent discovery of Ugandan military uniforms in Kenya. Furthermore, the western media has, by and large, ignored reports of Mungiki attacks in these areas. The western media's failure to engage in fair and honest investigative journalism and the US government's deafness to the grievances of marginalised ethnic groups in Kenya has thus contributed to the demonisation of Luos and Kalenjins.

Currently, while Kalenjin refugees are mentioned in a mostly negative light, almost no mention has been made in the mainstream western media about the plight of Luo refugees. It is a no-brainer that Luo refugees have much fewer options in fleeing Kenya. Uganda is particularly dangerous for Luo refugees, given the influx of Kikuyu in that country, and Museveni's almost certain involvement in the violence in western Kenya. The Tanzanian government, always hostile to refugees, is reported to be even less welcoming of Kenyan refugees. After they were "arrested" by Tanzanian authorities, a group of Luos seeking asylum in Tanzania have had their travel documents confiscated by the Tanzanian government. These Luos were carrying one year travel permits from the Kenyan government and had been given three month permits to stay in Tanzania after telling officials at the border that they were seeking refugee status. Border officials gave the same three month permits to a Luo woman and a Kikuyu woman who were travelling together after fleeing the Eldoret church massacre. It is unclear why the Tanzanian government is currently withholding the travel documents of the group of Kenyan Luos in Dar es Salaam.

Due to the lack of discreetness on the part of the government, the location of these refugees is now known to the general public. Joseph Mungai, the Tanzanian Minister for Home Affairs, has ordered these asylum-seekers currently holed up in Dar es Salaam to return to Arusha. Since the whereabouts and the ethnicity of these people has been made public by the government and because the government is withholding their travel documents, it is obviously dangerous for these Kenyans to travel back to Arusha, a distance of 647 kilometres from Dar es Salaam. As the mainstream media has taught us, tribal animosities know no borders.

This incident begs a pregnant question to the Tanzanian government and other world governments: where are Luo refugees to go?


The good people at Jaluo Press (jaluo.com) are currently compiling a report and are inviting all readers and family members of Kenyan asylum-seekers and refugees from every ethnicity to submit their stories. How were you being treated by authorities in the country in which you are seeking or sought asylum? Please include your ethnicity as we are trying to ascertain whether certain ethnic groups are treated worse by certain governments than are other ethnic groups.

In Kenya, intertribal marriages fall victim to election violence

He never calls. He never writes. His phone has been switched off for weeks. After 17 years, Naomi Kering's husband is gone, one more inter-ethnic marriage strained by the tribal violence that has followed Kenya's disastrous presidential election.

In the riots and ethnic violence following the December 27 vote, love has not been immune. Marriages that united different ethnic groups are now splitting up as communities shun the Kikuyu tribe of President Mwai Kibaki, whose disputed re-election unleashed a wave of bloodshed that has killed at least 685 people. "The kids always ask me, 'Where is he?' And I always say he is going to come back," Kering, a 34-year-old Kalenjin, said as she stood in the burned-out rubble of her home, which a mob torched last month because her husband is a Kikuyu. "But I hope he stays away, because I love him and I want him to be safe."

The ethnic unrest following Kibaki's re-election has torn at the fabric of Kenyan society, forcing families to confront tribal identities many had long ago cast aside. And while relationship troubles may sound frivolous when stacked up against the bloodshed, marriages like Kering's had represented hope for what Kenya could be as a nation. The breakups are a sign of the deep and abiding toll of the election's violent aftermath. "This election has changed the very essence of these marriages," said the Rev. Charles Kirui, a Catholic priest in the nearby town of Burnt Forest, where hundreds of Kikuyus took shelter in his church. "Marriages are breaking up because of a tribal conflict, which means we really have a problem in Kenya."

There are no figures on how many marriages and relationships are ending because of tribal strife, although deepening ethnic divisions are ravaging the society, particularly in the heart of opposition territory in western Kenya. Tribal tensions are not new here, although the election has sparked the most bitter -- and, some fear, lasting -- hatreds yet in a country once seen as a stable democracy on a violent continent. After independence in 1963, then-President Jomo Kenyatta flooded this region, native to the Kalenjin and Luo tribes, with his Kikuyu people. The Kikuyu settlers quickly prospered, growing into the most powerful of Kenya's 42 ethnic groups, running businesses and politics. But favoritism shown to Kikuyus fueled old resentments.

Some of the worst clashes since the election have pitted Kikuyus against the Kalenjin.
Kering said she never imagined the bloodshed would jeopardize her marriage to Isaac Guthua. The couple fell in love more than 15 years ago, when he would stop by the beauty salon where she worked nearly every day just for a glance of her. On the night the election results were announced, however, Guthua said he could not stay. Kikuyus were being hunted down and slaughtered. As Kering cooked dinner and Guthua watched the news, they heard screams in the distance; a mob was coming for Guthua and other Kikuyus, including his two brothers who lived next door with their Kalenjin wives. "We came out of the house and saw people with torches," Kering said. "They burned our house."

Guthua, knowing she would be spared because she is not Kikuyu, told his wife to take care of the children, aged 17, 15 and 8. Then he took off at a run with his brothers, Steven and Mwangi. The three have not been home since, and their wives say the marriages are over, their husbands too terrified to return. "We never had a problem before this election," said Kering's sister-in-law and neighbor, 27-year-old Eunice Kinyanjui, who is pregnant with her second child with Steven Guthua. "We lived happily in our family until this disaster." The women are too scared join their husbands, wherever they are, because of the hatred Kikuyus face. They have decided to stay behind and face an unsympathetic community.

"The people here, they say, 'Who told you to intermarry?'" Kinyanjui said, adding that they have not been targeted for violence, only shunned. "We are now useless to the community, they don't talk to us, anything." Kemei Gilbert, 18, a Kalenjin who was manning a roadblock in the area, said the women deserved no sympathy. "These women are not our problem," Gilbert said. "In Africa, when a woman marries, she belongs to that community." Kering and Kinyanjui both say they are confident their husbands are alive. Kering's husband called her two days after he fled, telling her he would likely go to Nairobi. Kinyanjui hasn't heard from her husband of three years, but he told her as he left that they might meet again. "I'll just believe that one day, one time, he will come," she said, her face wet with tears.

Show us the evidence, you said...

I have been receiving very strong sentiments from some very angry readers who I suspect, sadly, are up to no good. All their attempts to sound "neutral" and "aggrieved" cannot hide the fact that they are really government operatives. It is an open secret that this blog took off (in relation to readerership and per capita hits) the day Kibaki, in his misguided wisdom, decided to ban live broadcasts of news. Kenyans are avid consumers of information, and therefore SIASA DUNI is the first stop for serious coverage. So thank you, Mr. Kibaki.

Conversely, we have readers who are truly interested in the welfare of Kenya, rising above the tribal hogwash being bandied about by Kibaki's illegitimate regime. These are the true heroes of Kenya. I particularly want to salute Acolyte, who tells me s/he has pictures documenting the horrible burning in a house of Luos by Mungiki. Please, Acolyte, send through the pictures. My address is siasaduni@gmail.com, and together we can expose Kibaki for what he really is: a two-faced tribalist, impetuous murderer, thief and shameless deceiver. Maybe then, the anonymous people leaving comments here (with no backbone to even leave their names) will finally get the "evidence" they have been seeking.

BREAKING NEWS: Embakasi MP assassinated











Newly elected Embakasi MP Mugabe Were (ODM) was fatally shot dead in a suspected assassination on Tuesday at around 1 AM Kenyan time. Police in Nairobi said they were not ruling out "plotical motives". Mugabe Were was shot as he drove up to the gate of his house in Woodley Estate just after midnight, police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said. "We are treating it as a murder but we are not ruling out anything including political motives," he said. "We are urging everyone to remain calm."

Surprisingly enough, the assilant(s) did not steal anything from the legislator, but instead shot his twice in the head as he reached the gate of his house. ODM spokesman Tony Gachoka said that Were may have been targeted by political foes. "We want no stone unturned in the investigation, but we suspect foul play." However, Government officials are yet to comment. Hours after Were's death, rival ethnic gangs began fighting in Kibera, not far from where he was shot. A witness saw two corpses, with cuts on the head and neck, and another man badly hurt after being forcibly circumcised.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Kikuyu gang burns 20 Luos in a house

Ethnically driven violence intensified in Kenya on Sunday, and police officials said at least 19 people, including 11 children, were burned to death in a house by a mob.

The country seems to be becoming increasingly unhinged, with even the Kenyan military, deployed for the first time, unable to stop the wave of revenge killings. More than 100 people have been killed in the past four days, many of them shot with arrows, burned or hacked with machetes. It is some of the worst fighting since a disputed election in December ignited long-simmering tensions that have so far claimed at least 750 lives. The fighting appeared to be spreading Sunday across the Rift Valley region, a particularly picturesque part of Kenya known more for its game parks and fancy lodges.

The Kenyan government is now threatening to arrest top opposition leaders on suspicion of orchestrating the bloodshed, but opposition leaders are in turn accusing the government of backing criminal gangs. According to police officials in the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, fighting erupted Sunday between gangs of Kikuyus and Luos, two of Kenya's biggest ethnic groups, who have clashed across the country since the election. Witnesses said that mobs threw flaming tires and mountains of rocks into the streets to block police officers from entering certain neighborhoods. The mobs then went house to house, looking for certain people.

Grace Kakai, a police commander in Naivasha, said a large crowd of Kikuyus chased a group of Luos through a slum, trapped them in a house, blocked the doors and set the house afire. The police found 19 bodies huddled in one room, and Kakai said some of the children's bodies were so badly burned they could not be identified. "All I can say is that they were school age," she said. The incident was similar to one on Jan. 1, when up to 50 women and children seeking shelter in a church in another Rift Valley town were burned to death by a mob. The victims in that case were mostly Kikuyus, and Kikuyus across the country seem to have been attacked more than any other group.

In the past few days, many Kikuyus have organized into militias, saying that they are now ready for revenge. "The situation is very bad," Kakai said. "People are fighting each other and trying to drive them out of the area. We have to evacuate people." Thousands of families are streaming out of Naivasha, Nakuru, Molo, Eldoret and other towns across the Rift Valley. The region is home to supporters of both Mwai Kibaki, Kenya's illegitimate president and Raila Odinga, the top opposition leader, and the site of historic land disputes between members of rival ethnic groups. Kibaki is a Kikuyu and Odinga is a Luo, and the disputed election, in which Kibaki was declared the winner by a narrow margin despite widespread evidence of vote rigging, set off the ethnically driven violence.

The Kenya of today is almost unrecognizable to the Kenya that until recently was celebrated as one of the most stable and promising countries on the African continent. On Sunday night, local television stations showed menacing young men brandishing machetes and iron bars at road blocks along one of the country's busiest highways. The men hurled rocks at buses, with one large bus run off the road, as police officers stood by. The Kenyan army was assigned early this month to help evacuate people from conflict zones, but on Friday, for the first time, soldiers were ordered to intervene between warring groups. That did not seem to make much of a difference, and witnesses said the soldiers had been as ineffective as the police.

A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed in several Rift Valley towns, including Naivasha and Nakuru, but witnesses said the violence continued to rage in the countryside with bands of armed men burning down huts and attacking ethnic rivals with impunity. Many Kenyans have said the most distressing aspect is that the opposing politicians, instead of cooperating to stop the bloodshed, continue to bicker over who started it. That is exactly what happened on Sunday after news of the Naivasha killings spread. Salim Lone, Odinga's spokesman, sent out a cellphone message calling the killings "ghastly" and saying that they were the work of criminal gangs backed by police officers and "part of a well orchestrated plan of terror."

"The government is doing this to try to influence mediation efforts," the message said, referring to the continuing but so far fruitless negotiations led by Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the United Nations. "After stealing the elections from Kenyans, Kibaki now wishes to deny them justice and peace."

Alfred Nganga Mutua, the government spokesman, called the accusations "ridiculous." "What is really happening is a continuation of the ethnic cleansing that Raila's people are doing to kill the president's people," he said. Mutua said the violence would stop "when we indict the leaders responsible for this." "We are working on indictments," he said Sunday night. "That will happen very soon."

Western diplomats have said that there is a debate raging within Kibaki's inner circle about the wisdom of arresting top opposition figures, with some advisers pushing for it, while others fear the violence would only get worse if the leaders were jailed because their supporters would go on an even more intense rampage.

Kenyan newspapers reflected the gloom on Sunday. "For the umpteenth time, we again ask President Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga to work for peace, truth and justice," said an editorial in The Sunday Standard. "Kenya has bled enough."

Weekend of savagery claims 90 lives

In what is now turning out to be the beginnings of a civil war, 90 people were killed in a weekend of bloodletting as violence shifted from Nairobi to Rift Valley. There are also reports of clashes as far off as Oyugis. And in a chilling episode, at least 16 people — most of them women and children — were burnt to death in a house torched by attackers in Naivasha.

Meanwhile, the Kofi Annan-led team intensified efforts to find a solution to the crisis that is dangerously pushing the country towards civil war. Last night, the mediation team was expected to release the terms of engagement for the talks. After meeting with the team of African Union eminent persons yesterday, ODM said it was hopeful of progress. On Sunday evening, Annan met President Kibaki and briefed him on his visit to the violence-hit areas. After yesterday’s hour-long meeting with Annan, ODM deputy leader, Musalia Mudavadi, said: "We believe some measure of progress is imminent. We want a lasting solution." If the terms of engagement are agreeable to both sides, ODM and President Kibaki’s side will then proceed to appoint a team of three negotiators each and one additional member, who will act as the liaison between the warring parties.

In yesterday’s incident only comparable to that visited on victims sheltering at an Eldoret Church early this month, charred remains of the 16 victims were crammed in a small, two-room house, where — according to witnesses — they had locked themselves up to escape the wrath of bloodthirsty youths. "When the attacks started, youths burnt the house, trapping them inside," a resident said. Another four were hacked to death as they fled from the marauding gangs targeting members of one community. Others were killed and lynched after being fished out of public service vehicles on account of their tribe. As usual, the police watched the unfolding chaos helplessly as Nairobi was temporarily cut-off from western Kenya. Independent reports put the death toll in Naivasha at more than 20, but police confirmed only 10. The number could be higher as several people were reported missing.

In Nakuru, the death toll hit 60, with the number expected to rise as rival groups continued to clash. Witnesses said some of the attackers, believed to be members of the proscribed Mungiki sect, were armed with guns and wore police uniforms. Fifty-five bodies are lying at the Nakuru Municipal Mortuary with five more yet to be collected from the town’s estates. The mortuary, with a capacity of 42, was stretched to the limit as bodies streamed in. Unconfirmed reports said a military chopper patrolling the town fired gunshots at Kwa Rhonda and Ng’ambo estates to scare away marauding youths torching houses. However, Nakuru deputy OCPD, Mathew Gwiyo, said military officers fired shots in Bahati of Nakuru North District to disperse youths armed with pangas, bows and arrows who were torching houses.

As the violence was systematically unfolding, MPs from central Kenya told President Kibaki to take charge of and restore peace and order in clash-torn areas. Tigania East MP, Peter Munya, who led the MPs in making the call, said: "President Kibaki must take charge now and stop the killings of innocent people in Rift Valley. We demand that perpetrators be brought to book." They said the Government had not done enough to protect lives and property being destroyed by gangs.

Renowned scholar, Prof Ali Mazrui, said the international community should not relent and called on the African Union and the Commonwealth to suspend Kenya from their ranks. "The AU has been more of an apologist for President Mugabe of Zimbabwe than a correction officer," Mazrui, who is also the Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, said.

Friday, January 25, 2008

ODM rejects Museveni offer

ODM has turned down President Yoweri Museveni’s proposal for a judicial commission of inquiry into the presidential election.

The party said it rejected the idea because the post-election crisis had mutated into a bigger problem. ODM Secretary-General, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, said: "Museveni had very interesting proposals and we gave audience, but our take was that we do not want a quick fix which cannot stand the test of time."

Nyong’o said ODM leader, Raila Odinga, met Museveni before holding a discussion with William Ruto. The remarks contradict Ugandan newspaper, The New Vision, which reported that the Opposition and the Government had agreed to Museveni's proposal. Museveni has also called for a coalition government. Nyong’o said the inquiry would be tantamount to filing an election petition at the High Court, which is controlled by the Government. "At the moment, ODM is not bringing forward any proposals that may jeopardise peace talks. We want the Government to accept that there is a problem before we lay foundations for a lasting solution," Nyong’o said. Speakingat Serena Hotel, Nyong’o was pessimistic that the talks would bear fruits. "There must be light at the end of the tunnel in all these talks, but there are challenges that are arising like widespread violence and the Government’s refusal to allow us hold peaceful meetings," he said.

There was a flurry of meetings at the hotel. The US Ambassador, Michael Ranneberger, French envoy, Elisabeth Barbier and their German colleague, Walter Lindner, held talks with former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, former Tanzania President, Benjamin Mkapa, and Graca Machel, wife of former South Africa president, Nelson Mandela. It was not immediately clear what transpired in the meeting, as the envoys left and shortly Annan headed for Harambee House to meet President Kibaki and Raila. Nyong’o and Pentagon member, Joe Nyagah, also met former presidents, Ketumile Masire and Joachim Chissano, all in a bid to fix the crisis.

Meanwhile, the EU Troika (represented by the French ambassador, Elisabeth Barbier, and the Head of Political Affairs of the European Commission, Harvey Rouse) met Prof George Saitoti, Tuesday, as a follow-up to the recent visit of Commissioner Louis Michel to Kenya. They discussed the importance of respecting civil and human rights, cases of disproportionate use of force by the police, and the necessity to end violence. The meeting concluded with an appeal that both sides embrace dialogue.

Violence erupts in Nakuru, Molo, as Raila & Kibaki "shake hands" in Nairobi

It was very clear from the smirk on his face as he shook hands with Raila on the steps of Harambee House. As I've always maintained, Kibaki cannot be trusted. What guarantee can Kenyans have that this time he will keep to his word with ODM? What is so special about him this time that he is willing to change his character and do the right thing? Even as Anan was mediating the truce, Kibaki was cynical. As one blogger puts it, Kibaki DOES NOT mean any good for Kenya and any motion from him is meant to generate no meaningful movement. Annan has already reprimanded him for poisoning his mediation by a belligerent and calculated reference to himself as "your duly elected President".

Kenya today woke up to a fresh escalation of violence in Nakuru and Molo. As my man on the ground notified me when I asked him what's going on today, "No, bado kubaya. Terrible war in Nakuru and Molo for the better day of today. Guys wearing police uniforms in Nakuru and armed with guns are killing non-Kikuyus there. These are Mungiki and we all know they have been given guns and uniforms. Eldoret-Nairobi road was closed."

So who's fooling who? Kibaki grins like a Cheshire cat while posing for photographs with Raila and Anan, knowing full well that nothing is going to come out of that mediation process. As his factotum Michuki said recently, "If Anan is coming here, he's not coming at our invitation. We see no need for mediating power-sharing." I submit here that PNU are not interested in the least in these negotiations. They are now using Mungiki to entrench themselves after the police and army showed a reluctance to shoot innocent protesters.

Kenyans are very disappointed with this whole power-sharing scenario. As one of my readers said, "I fear that if ODM concedes defeat, it will send a message to future ‘riggers’ that they can steal the vote and get away with it. I really have no idea what can be done to quell the violence, hate and mistrust that prevails in Kenya today so for now… I’m praying." Another reader: "The situation in Kenya is really, really bad… in some areas 100/- airtime is being sold for 150/- transport is still a big issue (buses, trucks and private vehicles move in convoys along the highways – with police security) the railway leading to Uganda was destroyed around the Kibera area … matatus (the main public transport here) are scarce and generally unsafe." And yet another: "Last week, someone was asked in a matatu what ethnic group he was from… he said he was Kenyan. The people who’d asked him then started conversing in Kikuyu and upon realizing he didn’t understand what they were saying, beat him to a pulp and threw him out of the matatu. That’s what it has come to; people are even being evicted from their houses for belonging to certain ethnic groups. It’s sad." And what happens to the opposition? What will come of the 2nd Liberation if we effectively go back to one party statehood, with a turncoat like Kibaki at the helm?

And it is against this backdrop that Kenyans pegged their hopes on the Anan-led mediations. But it seems the other side is more interested in the status quo. Kibaki has already led Kenya along a dangerous path: blatantly stealing elections, killing citizens for protesting it, "importing" soldiers from Uganda after his own soldiers refused to take part in the nefarious plot, and now trampling underfoot the only credible solution left for sanity in this country. Dressing Mungiki in police uniform and sending them to attack other communities can only lead this country in one direction. And we are already at the tipping point; Kenya cannot possibly get worse. As one reader puts it, "I believe this is a necessary baptismal process that this country has to go through. We have always had a facade of peace when kumbe it was boiling hot just beneath the surface. Unless there is justice and a deliberate restructuring and rebuilding of confidence in key institutions (Presidency, Electoral Commission, Judiciary etc) then the trouble will linger for years. I also believe that even if Raila 'concedes' defeat there would be no peace because Wananchi have taken ownership of the struggle."

Kibaki was sworn in hours before KBC's telecast

The pressure continues to pile on the illegitimate regime in Kenya.

It is now emerging that the Ugandan army men are actually in Western Kenya (Western and Nyanza) and there are many more that have been sourced from that country (about 3,000) to prop up Kibaki, just in case.

You may be wondering why Michuki is now taking a hardline stance. At the rate things are going, we may be headed for a military solution. We are made to understand that Kibaki and his ilk had to seek the assistance of Museveni when the Kenya army defied orders to go out of the barracks to go and quell the civil unrest. The rumour that Gen. Jeremiah Kianga, the Chief of General Staff (CGS) had resigned is no rumour. He actually did resign following a disagreement on how things were being done at Department of Defence, the military headquarters. He could not take it any more that his subordinate, Lt. Gen. A. S. K Njoroge, was giving direct orders to the army and bypassing him.



However, on the other hand, the pro-ODM army units, who are the majority, were of the resolved opinion that should Gen. Kianga quit and Lt. Gen. Njoroge take over as CGS, then the army was bound to do something nasty. That left the Kibaki group with no option but to plead with Gen. Kianga to stay on for another two or three months as they sorted things out. Gen. Kianga has never categorically denied the allegation that he had resigned, something he could have contested were it not true.

Now, if you did not know, Raila is most popular among the military ranks and even the police. Based on these facts and a myriad other complications relating to the armed units of the country, the Ugandan army is the only option, and Museveni is more than willing to assist Kibaki having played the same game himself. This issue of inviting the Ugandan army into Kenya has irked the Kenya army quite a bit, and it may be one point for which they may never forgive Kibaki. Real statesmen in Africa are few and far between. Museveni, Moi and Kibaki do not qualify.

The Michuki and Karua group were counting on the US support, militarily and diplomatically, but with the shifting of alliances and the firm position taken by the US government end of last week, they are feeling lost. In the "mwoto mwoto; chini kwa chini" news networks, it is also emerging that Kibaki was sworn in at 2.00pm. What was televised at 4:45pm by KBC was a recording.

You doubt that? Watch that clip again and pay close attention to the shadow patterns. The Law Society of Kenya and the Kenya Human Rights Commission are within their rights to raise the issues relating to these illegalities of Kibaki being in office. And for the Wananchi, they are arguing (and rightfully so) that since the national anthem was not played when Kibaki was sworn in, he is not president yet.

I also read this observation in the press the other day that Kibaki did the wrong thing by not handing back the army sword that symbolizes state power before the winner of the election was announced. The army failed in its responsibility. Or was Gen. Kianga frustrated?

In essence, what should have happened is that starting from the first date of the election period, Kibaki is supposed to have handed over the instruments of power as C In C to Gen. Kianga, very much the same way it was done during the Moi/NARC transition. Gen. Kibwana handled this very well; picture perfect. Gen. Kianga would have then handed over the instruments of Commander in Chief of the army to the winner of the election upon announcement of the winner by the ECK. In short, the ECK alerts the army boss, the army boss gets the parade and band ready. The instruments are then transferred formally at a designated official ceremony.

But we are dealing with "wakora" here.

When Raila talks of a civilian coup de tat, many do not fathom the weight of that statement. Kibaki should know he is walking on quicksand. Kenya is experiencing the biggest travesty of the law, like no other in the whole world! The law apart, procedure was not followed. Should the East Africa Court have been well in place, in power and structure, these are the kinds of issues that such an institution would handle. We have every reason to holler, good people!

Give up? Never!

My worst vacation - Guest Post

















A Kenyan came back home for the Christmas break after living outside Kenya for several years. He was happy to be home, happy to see his relatives and hoping for a routine election, where he could vote for the candidate of his choice, spend more time with the people he has not seen for years and then go back to his life. Boy was he in for a shock...


I've had the worst holiday/vacation ordeal that I've ever known. My first week in Kenya was generally smooth sailing as I was first in Nairobi (did a bit of the ohangla jive with my usual compatriots) before going to Kisumu to unwind a bit. Come election day, everybody was quite jovial and ready to usher in Agwambo as our deliverer into Canaan, but alas! The rest is history.

At one point I got stuck in Kisumu for almost one week, when it seemed like I was in prison. I remember new year arriving and there were no celebrations about it; instead, people were wailing all over like someone really important had passed on, yet it was because Kibaki and his cronies had stolen the vote! Meanwhile, there were civilian road blocks all over, airtime was almost impossible to come by, petrol was scarce, foodstuff was terribly difficult to reach, and all internet cafes were either closed or looted/burnt!

I wouldn't like to subscribe to the school of thought that Agwambo should concede defeat in order to attain peace. I believe that peace can only be attained when people's souls are at rest (i.e. when the truth is out and confidence in our electoral system is regained) and not simply by just stopping the current mass action and riots. If Kibaki and his cronies are not put in check now, it could entrench a bad example for future immoral leaders to obtain/maintain power. Hence, even if it means doing so thru sacrificing the comfort (and even the lives) of the present generation, it is done all in a bid for ensuring a better tomorrow for our future generations.

Ugandan army uniforms found in Kenya

Tension was high at the Malaba border after residents impounded a lorry full of Ugandan military uniforms. The residents stopped the lorry, registration number KAV 018T, headed to the customs department and demanded to view its contents. The besieged driver pleaded with the residents to let him pass as rowdy youths threatened to lynch him. The angry mob was in the process of setting the lorry ablaze when riot police arrived.

Amid shouts of, "Open it, open it!" the residents almost overpowered the police, prompting Teso OCPD, Joseph Kiget, to order the driver to open up the cargo. Councillor Chrisantus Kipala, of Malaba Central Ward, and a few other people boarded the lorry to verify the items as residents cheered and broke into songs. Pairs of Ugandan military uniforms and caps with State emblems were fished out of the boxes.

"Now you can relax because you have seen what the lorry is carrying. You can now let the driver proceed with his journey," the OCPD told the crowd. The residents have vowed to keep vigil at the border and are demanding an explanation from the Government about the Ugandan military uniforms. Kenyan customs officials at the border declined to talk to journalists regarding the matter. Ugandan security officials who had crossed the border to receive the consignment disappeared on realising the arrival of a KTN camera crew.

Tension has been high in western Kenya following rumours that Ugandan soldiers are in the country. The soldiers were said to have headed to Nyanza, Western and Rift Valley provinces, where violence broke out after President Kibaki declared himself the winner in last year’s discredited General Election. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has gone on record saying he did not help President Kibaki in his controversial re-election. The Ugandan Electoral Commission of Kenya also denied having played a part in the tallying of presidential results. Museveni, on the other hand, attributed the post-election violence to the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

Museveni is in Kenya as part of a mediation team.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kenyan police divided over crackdown

The police commander poured gasoline down the walls of three slum shacks and set them alight. At each home, his officers waited until his back was turned, then doused the flames.

The small rebellion is symptomatic of rifts within Kenya's police force over the harsh tactics ordered to suppress opposition protests, some officers say — a new fracture in ethnic and political conflicts tearing at the country since a disputed presidential election. Several police officers sought to express concern over the tough measures they have been ordered to use against opposition supporters protesting what they say was President Mwai Kibaki's theft of the December 27 ballot. "People are separating into tribes," said one Muslim policeman in Nairobi, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job. "What is outside is being reflected in the force."

Human rights groups say more than 650 people have died in an election dispute that has sparked three overlapping conflicts — between ruling party loyalists and the opposition, between ethnic groups with long-held land grievances or connections to rival politicians, and between police and the residents of Nairobi's restive shantytowns. Clashes have been particularly severe between Kibaki's Kikuyu people, the largest ethnic group, and the Luo of opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

But rights groups say many deaths have been caused by police, who have fired tear gas and live rounds at protesters. Several police officers said they had been given "shoot-to-kill" orders, and one described "a general rebellion which has been compounded by that kind of orders." Two officers involved in a raid on a Nairobi slum said they had refused to shoot to kill and fired their guns into the air instead. Officers said some policemen had threatened colleagues with fisticuffs and even death in disputes over tactics. All the officers spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The divisions further weaken a force already undermined by low pay — a recruit's monthly salary is $154 and a mid-ranking officer makes $240 — and a reputation for corruption. One officer said tensions are so high there could be a police strike. Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe denied there are any splits within the force and charged that officers may have been bribed by the opposition to fabricate testimony. "There are no divisions in the police force as of now," he said. Kiraithe also said no commander had issued shoot-to-kill orders, insisting that officers are being told to use restraint.

Kenya's police initially denied killing any protesters, but last week acknowledged officers had been responsible for some deaths and put the number at 82. Rights activists said the number was much higher. At a rally on Monday attended by thousands in his hometown of Kisumu, the opposition leader Raila Odinga raged against police violence, pointing to seven bodies that had been brought into the stadium. "You can see how our bodies are lying there dead because they were killed by ruthless police," Odinga said. At least 53 people have been killed in Kisumu. Hospital records indicate 44 of them died from bullets. Guns have been used primarily, if not exclusively, by police in the upheaval since the election, while rioters have often used machetes and bows and arrows.

Kiraithe also denied police officers would deliberately destroy property. "There are no circumstances whatsoever when a police officer can set fire to a building. It is false," he said.

Two officers, however, said that is exactly what happened.

They said that last week, after a train was looted as it rolled through Nairobi's Kibera slum on the last of three days of opposition protests, they were given orders to enter homes there, beat any men they found and destroy property in the homes. "Spare a woman and a child, but everything else was to be vandalized. Any man found in his house was to be dealt with — beaten up," one of the officers said. He and a second officer involved in the raid said their colleagues reluctantly searched houses but refused to beat people or destroy property, because many of the officers were Luo, the same ethnic group as the householders. They said the commander was from the Meru tribe, considered an ally of the Kikuyu.

On Friday, another police patrol in Kibera fired from a train, and six people died, including a 15-year-old girl. Later Friday, the two officers said, they were told they would be returning to Kibera that night and a senior officer told them they were taking gasoline along. Houses would be burned to teach the slum dwellers a lesson, the two said. In response, junior officers hid 15 cans of water in the three trucks that transported them, the two officers said. Some also tipped off relatives in the area about the raid, and the area was deserted when they arrived, the officers said.

The men said their senior officer set fire to shanties in three different locations and left a group to guard each. When he left, the officers doused the fires, the two said. Two residents, Beatrice Michael and George Okumu, corroborated parts of the officers' story. Michael said she passed three truckloads of police while taking her daughter to a hospital after she was hit by a stray bullet. Okumu said residents were tipped off their homes would be burned and left the area Friday night.

The two officers said objections to such harsh tactics had been intensified by the ethnic splits plaguing Kenya. Some Luo officers have been transferred from their usual patrol areas, they said. An officer at the Criminal Investigation Department, where the two senior officers are both Kikuyu, said he knew of at least 10 non-Kikuyu officers who had been asked to give up their sidearms. No reason was given, he said. "If they see two or three people (police) who are not Kikuyu discussing politics, they become suspicious," the officer said.

Kiraithe, the police spokesman, said he was unaware of any such incidents.

The Muslim officer in Nairobi said he had been ready to fight some colleagues when they suggested tear-gassing Nairobi's main mosque during a small demonstration Friday. There was outrage when police in the coastal city of Mombasa fired tear gas outside the main mosque at unarmed protesters who were preparing to march after Friday prayers. The officer said he threw away his tear gas without using it. He added that although most of those disobeying orders were non-Kikuyus, there were also some Kikuyu officers unhappy with the situation. Many of his Muslim colleagues, he said, were concerned they could be transferred or fired because of the perception that Muslim communities support the opposition. "There are people who say they are ready to join Raila's force," the Muslim officer said. "Senior officers are also divided ... some guys are saying, 'Let me see anyone shooting a civilian, I will kill you.'"

Uhuru's Mungiki support confirmed

My friends, here at Siasa Duni we endeavour to tell it like it is, even though some people have been leaving comments to the effect that we are spreading rumours. I'll quote verbatim: "so? can you proove this?you are spreading rumors here like you say siasa duni=maisha mbaya." I guess the truth is starting to hurt some of our readers. But as we say, truth comes only to conquer those who have lost the art of receiving it as a friend. Here's an email I got from a very knowledgeable source, and please be careful in the next few days. Judge for yourselves...

Fellow Kenyans,

The much talked about Mungiki training and arming has been confirmed. Uhuru has donated Ksh.4 million and Karume and other leaders have paid for the training of Mungiki to attack Luos, Luhyas, muslims and Kalenjin communities. The plan is complete and its execution is soon.

From reliable sources, the plan is to retaliate the mayhem that was witnessed in the post-election violence where Kikuyu community was targeted by these tribes. It is said that the attacks will start slowly in Nairobi as mere criminal gang but will intensify with time. A number of Mungiki members have been provided by police uniforms and will knock doors at night. Areas mostly targeted are Mathare, Dandora, Umoja, Kayole, Embakasi, Dagoreti and Kibera. Police will be slow in response and ways have been crafted to show that police have been overwhelmed. In the streets mungiki members will be planted among police
officers with sole responsibility to kill anybody who is protesting.

Kenyans of goodwill are required to condemn this plan for genocide and please alert all Kenyans to be careful. This not just a propaganda it is real and police, leaders, and the public should not remain silent. All night travels should be reduced.

Concerned Citizen,
Kamau

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

SIASA DUNI EXCLUSIVE: NSIS Leak - Kibaki was FORCED and rushed into a swearing ceremony by Mount Kenya MAFIA in a meeting chaired by Michuki

Sources privy to goings-on at and top officials of NSIS confirm that while Kibaki wanted to call a press conference to concede defeat after 90% of the votes were in, 48hrs after the election, an emergency meeting chaired by John Michuki and seconded by Kipyator Nicholas arap Kiprono Biwott and Lucy Kibaki at the Michuki-owned Windsor Golf and Country Club, saw Biwott and Daniel arap Moi threaten to cut Kibaki loose and leave him to fight his own battles, as that they would flee Kenya to Mauritania if he did not elbow his way back to State House.

This reportedly irked Michuki to the point that he removed a packet of Emabssy Kings from his pocket and, in front of their new found bed partners from Rift Valley and madame Lucyfer Wambui, proceeded to light one. After a long and contemplative pull on the tobacco roll, Michuki said they should leave everything to him.

A mobile call (with the caller identity withheld) was then made to one Samwel Kivuitu, informing him that wazee wa nchi (elders of the nation) had decided that he should promptly announce Kibaki the winner or else leave Kenya with immediate effect. For his "small" part, he was offered Kshs. 242 million (US$3.8 million), which he accepted, and the post of Kenyan ambassadeur to Botswana, affective March 2008, which he also accepted.

Now we all know why he did it.

The Fight for Democracy in Kenya Continues - Guest Post

Dear Friends,

If you have been following the news from Kenya , then you know that our country is at an important crossroads. The fate of democracy in Kenya will likely be decided in the coming months, if not weeks. Mwai Kibaki, the current and illegitimate president, is desperately attempting to solidify his grasp on power even as the opposition has defeated his strong arm tactics in the parliament and continues to win the battle for public opinion on the streets, on the web, and on the airwaves. The majority of Kenyans are demanding one of two things: that Kibaki step down immediately or that a new election be held. The Coalition of Kenyans and Allies for Democracy is committed to representing the interests of Kenyans. We, therefore, join our brethren in making these demands.

Although a new election remains possible, the results of such an election will not be credible as long as the government continues to suppress freedom of expression. Toward this end, CKAD demands that UN troops be deployed throughout Kenya to protect the populace from the brutality of Kenyan police, organized gangs, and foreign military elements. In light of numerous reports of the presence of the Ugandan military in Nyanza and Rift Valley provinces and due to the high death toll of residents credited to Kenyan police in these areas, CKAD demands that special attention in the deployment of UN troops be given to these areas. We cannot allow the police and other elements to disenfranchise Kenyans of their vote again through the use of intimidation or force. A new election will lack legitimacy unless it is conducted in an atmosphere of democracy--that is, where freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press are restored and respected by all levels of government. CKAD will, therefore, continue to demand that Kibaki step down until these conditions are met and the mechanisms for conducting a new, free, and independently monitored election are put in place.

We believe that the tide of public opinion is on the side of democracy. With your help, we hope to channel the energy of this tide toward a victory for the people of Kenya .

Despite the United State's deafness to the "made in Kenya" solutions that Kenyans are screaming and, in too many cases, dying for--that is, despite America's obliviousness to the majority consensus that Kibaki must step down or that a new and independently monitored election must be held--international support for democracy in Kenya is gathering steam. In a unanimous vote, the European Union Parliament declared yesterday that if a "credible and fair recount" is impossible, then a new election must be held. This international body, which represents twenty-seven countries, also voted to freeze aid to Kenya "until a political resolution to the present crisis has been found." Unfortunately, this resolution is nonbinding. It is, therefore, up to us to demand, even more loudly, that Kibaki step down or that a new, independently monitored election be held once democracy is restored.

We call on the EU and other western powers to put the funds that would have gone toward aid to the Kibaki government toward a new election. We also call on all Kenyans in the diaspora to contribute to this effort.

Our demand that either Kibaki resign immediately or a new and independently monitored election be held as quickly and in as democratic a fashion as possible is necessitated by the deplorable record on human rights and respect for democracy that Kibaki and his government officials have amassed since illegally seizing power. In Kisumu, Kenyan police shot live bullets at protesters, killing at least forty-four people last week and twenty-one in the past few days. Police have also beaten or whipped people who were simply commuting to and from work—an embarrassing sight for all Kenyans and for the black community, in general. On a national level, Kenyan police have been responsible for more than half of the 700 deaths attributed to election-related violence. Among the dead are women and children. Witnesses report that police have even killed those who were not taking part in demonstrations. Joseph Karoki blogs about one such Kenyan, James Odhiambo. This young man, the sole bread-winner for his family, was shot by police while walking to work.

Truthfully, all Kenyans are victims of this national injustice, of Kibaki's derailment and destruction of democracy.

As a signatory to the petition "Kibaki Must Step Down," you have already played an important part in ensuring the survival of democracy in Kenya . The time has come, however, when we must either accept the demise of Kenya 's fragile democracy or stand in solidarity with those who are breathing life back into that democracy through nonviolent mass action.

Please send this email to as many people as you can and ask them to sign the petition "Kibaki Must Step Down." We must all take ownership of the fate of democracy in Kenya . We are calling on you and everyone you know to promote this petition anywhere and everywhere that you can. We will not rest until the number of people standing up for democracy in Kenya grows exponentially worldwide.

For more information about CKAD, please visit our blog at http://kenyansfordemocracy.blogspot.com/. The petition "Kibaki Must Step Down" can be signed at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/kibaki-must-step-down.html We are at over 14,000 signatures and counting…

Asanteni sana,

Annah, Tavia, Philister
Coalition of Kenyans and Allies for Democracy