Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Credit munch

At a glance, there are so many things wrong with this story, but I'll just enumerate a few.

1. Let's carefully analyse "Kamau's" options:

a) Be honest and say he's bila money
b) "Seek" credit faclities
c) Pull an M-Pesa
d) None of the above, i.e., go home and piga punyeto.

2. Now, which one would have worked best for him?

3. As for "Wanjiru's" options, let's just say it's a case of a Kenyan with NO virtue conning a fellow Kenyan of LOOSE virtue... blame it on credit crunch. Or as one lady called it on an FM radio show here, "credit munch". Excuse the pun...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kenyan churches call Kibaki "moribund"

Moribund |ˌmɒrɪbʌnd|
(of a person) at the point of death.
• (of a thing) in terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigour.

Kenya's largest church organisation branded the president "moribund" and the prime minister "ineffective" in the latest of a torrent of complaints against Kenya's coalition government.

One year after its creation to end the cuntry's post-election violence, the unity government of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga is creaking under internal divisions and a public backlash over its performance.

Some civil society groups want a new election; protests against corruption, police killings and high food prices are springing up with the global financial crisis compounding economic woes; and ministers squabble daily in public.

The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), which represents 26 Protestant denominations comprising thousands of congregations around the deeply religious nation, weighed in with a statement bashing the government on all fronts. "The impression and expression of most Kenyans is that they have a moribund president and an ineffective prime minister," NCCK leaders said in the statement sent to media on Thursday. "In their hearts, Kenyans cannot understand how they can be going through an extremely difficult period, with no hope in sight, yet the president ... is extremely quiet about those issues, almost as if he has lost touch with reality." Raila Odinga, though charged with coordinating government ministries, "complains about the same people he is supervising instead of streamlining their operations," NCCK added.

While the church group was itself criticised for keeping quiet during last year's post-election slaughter, its statement echoed concerns currently expressed all over Kenya: A "bloated and non-performing" 41-minister cabinet was gobbling money that should go on development at a time Kenya says 10 million of its 35 million people are hungry, it said. "Hunger in Kenya has less to do with drought and more to do with lack of leadership, since it is man-made and orchestrated for personal gain," it said, referring to corrupt sales and hoarding in the maize and food distribution sectors.

Kibaki, 77, was pilloried by local media for holding his first news conference in years earlier this month not to address national problems but to denounce reports he had a second wife. Kibaki is a devout member of the Catholic church, which has also been critical of his rule. The president, who has an image for being genial but weak on misbehaviour by his team, has hit back this week in a speech daring rowdy ministers to quit or risk facing the sack. Kibaki recently announced a "Work for Youth" programme to generate 300,000 new jobs for young people, whose discontent is fuelling the ranks of the powerful criminal gang Mungiki.

The NCCK church group criticised the government for neglecting thousands of internal refugees from the post-election violence, allowing "sinful" legislators to get away without paying taxes, and dragging its feet on constitutional reform. "We call on Kenyans to rise up and demand that they regain leadership of the process," it said on the constitution review. We find it immoral that members of parliament ... spend most of their time peacocking around the country ... And while the MPs are getting their tax-free allowances to acquire the latest pleasures and luxuries, Kenyans are dying of hunger."

The NCCK urged a downsizing of cabinet and said Kenyans should demand a new vote. It is seeking one million signatures to demand post-election crisis mediator Kofi Annan reveals names of top suspects of violence who should then be prosecuted.

Friday, March 20, 2009

New words in 2009

Waving your arms around and talking bollocks.

Sitting round in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a
project failed, and who was responsible.

The process by which people seem to absorb success and advancement by
sucking up to the boss rather than working hard.

The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get
screwed and die.

An office filled with cubicles.

When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and
people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on. (This also
applies to applause for a promotion because there may be cake.)

Single Income, Two Children, and Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn
into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home
with the kids or start a 'home business'.

Single working girls. Single income, no boyfriend and desperate.

One who has bleached/dyed her hair but still has a "black box".

The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it
to work again.

The rarefied organisational layers beginning just above the rank and
file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly
inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to
solve. This is often affiliated with the dreaded administrivia - needless
paperwork and processes.

Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message 404 not found meaning that the requested document could not be located.

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just
made a BIG mistake (e.g. you've hit reply all).

A young man of substandard intelligence, the typical adolescent who
works in a burger restaurant. The 'no-stars' comes from the badges
displaying stars that staff at fast-food restaurants often wear to show
their level of training.

Entering a fast food restaurant with no intention of buying food,
you're just going to the loo. If challenged by a pimply staff member,
your declaration to them that you'll buy their food afterwards is known
as a McShit with Lies.

The contents of a wonder bra, i.e. extremely impressive when viewed from
the outside, but there's actually naught in there worth seeing.

Similar to a French kiss, but given down under.

A very short skirt only an inch from the hare.

An excellent phrase for an overweight person.

A deeply unattractive person.

The taxi that arrives at your place on Saturday morning before you wake up, whisks away the stunner you slept with, and leaves a 10-pinter in your bed instead.

The invisible but warm coat worn when walking home after a booze cruise at 3:00am.

The invisible device that ensures your safe arrival home after booze
cruise, even though you're too drunk to remember where you live, how
you got here, and where you've come from.

Your first pee in the pub, usually after 2 hours of drinking. After
breaking the seal of your bladder, repeat visits to the toilet will be
required every 10 or 15 minutes for the rest of the night.

Bottled premixed spirits, regularly consumed by young women.

A woman whose knickers are too small for her, so she looks like she's
got 4 buttocks

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Internet at 20

It all began 20 years ago with a frustrated 29-year-old programmer who had a passion for order.

On March 13th, 2009 the World Wide Web turned 20. Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented this world-changing layer on top of the Internet on that day in 1989.

It’s hard to overstate the impact this young technology has had already and it’s even more exciting to think about where it’s going in the future.

Advantages of the Internet
The main advantage of any new technology is that it amplifies human potential. In the 20th century, electricity, the telephone, the automobile and the airplane all made the world more accessible to more people, transforming our economy and society in the process.

The Internet has the same revolutionary impact–individuals and businesses can overcome geographical, cultural and logistical barriers and improve the way they live and work. Because it amplifies our potential in so many ways, it’s possible that the long-term impact of the Internet could equal that of electricity, the automobile and the telephone all rolled together. But How?

The Internet makes the world smaller. The ability to communicate and exchange information instantaneously and across vast distances has enabled more individuals and businesses to participate in the economy, regardless of their location. Large companies can connect with employees, suppliers, and partners around the globe, and small businesses can find their customers anywhere in the world. Businesses can hire knowledge workers almost regardless of where they are, greatly expanding employment opportunities and providing information technology services to the world. The Internet, along with other computer technologies, is literally enabling some developing countries to “leapfrog” the industrial revolution and jump straight to the Internet Age.

The Internet brings people closer together. Before the Internet, it was possible to keep in touch with relatives and friends across the country or around the world; but it was also expensive. Today, communicating with a friend in Japan is as easy and cheap as communicating with a friend across town, and families regularly use the Internet to keep in touch with far-flung relatives. Millions of people with shared interests–no matter how obscure–exchange information and build communities through Web sites, email and instant-messaging software. Using innovative accessibility aids, people with disabilities can use the Internet to help overcome barriers that prevent them from leading more productive and fulfilling lives.

The Internet makes the world simpler
For businesses, the Internet breaks down logistical barriers, offering greater flexibility and power in the way they do business. It shrinks time and distance, simplifies complex business processes, and enables more effective communication and collaboration–a giant corporation can now be as nimble as a tiny startup, while a family firm located in a remote rural village now has the world as its marketplace. Combined with advanced productivity software, the Internet enables individual knowledge workers to use their time more efficiently, and to focus on more productive tasks. And it gives consumers the ability to shop smarter, to find the best products at the right prices.

In fact, it empowers them in ways that once were available only to large companies, enabling them to join with others to buy products at lower prices, and bid competitively around the world.

What’s Next?
The Internet has already revolutionized the way we live and work, but it is still in its infancy. In the coming years, a combination of cheap and powerful computing devices, fast and convenient Internet access, and software innovations could make the Internet as common and powerful a resource as electricity is today.

Today, most people access the Internet through their home or office PC, but as microprocessors become cheaper and more powerful, Internet access will also be available from a wider range of smart devices, from tablet-sized PCs to smart cellular phones–even familiar household appliances. People will be able to share information seamlessly across devices and interact with them in a more natural way, using speech, handwriting and gestures. Eventually, they will be able to interact with a computer almost as easily as they do with each other.

And all this computing power will be interconnected, as high-speed Internet access becomes available in more areas and in many different ways, both wired and wireless. Advances in communications technologies, along with increasing public demand for Internet access, will eventually ensure that Internet connectivity will be commonplace at home, at work or on the move.

Communication between devices on the Internet will be greatly enhanced by new Internet standards such as XML, which offers a way to separate a Web page’s underlying data from the presentational view of that data. Whereas HTML uses “tags” to define how data is displayed on Web pages, XML uses tags to provide a common way of defining precisely what the underlying data actually is. XML “unlocks” data so that it can be organized, programmed and edited.

This makes it easier for that data to be shared across a wider range of PCs, servers, handheld devices, and “smart” phones and appliances. While today’s Internet consists of isolated “islands” of data that are difficult to edit, share and integrate, tomorrow’s Internet will break down those barriers and enable people to access and share the information they need–regardless of whether they’re accessing the Internet from their PC or any other device.

All these advances will soon create a ubiquitous Internet–personal and business information, email, and instant messaging, rich digital media and Web content will be available any time, any place and from any device.

Opportunities and Challenges
Whenever a new technology emerges with the potential to change the way people live and work, it sparks lively debate about its impact on our world and concern over how widely it should be adopted.

Some people will view the technology with tremendous optimism, while others will view it as threatening and disruptive.

When the telephone was first introduced, many critics thought it would disrupt society, dissolve communities, erode privacy, and encourage selfish, destructive behavior.

Others thought the telephone was a liberating and democratizing force that would create new business opportunities and bring society closer together.

The Internet brings many of these arguments back to life. Some optimists view the Internet as humanity’s greatest invention–an invention on the scale of the printing press.

They believe the Internet will bring about unprecedented economic and political empowerment, richer communication between people, a cultural renaissance, and a new era of economic prosperity and world peace.

At the other extreme, pessimists think the Internet will result in economic and cultural exploitation, the death of privacy, and a decline in values and social standards.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The bottom falls in Zimbabwe...

MASVINGO - In a development that has shocked many people in Masvingo, a Mwenezi widow has been made pregnant by her son, whom she says she now wants to marry. Betty Mbereko (40), who was widowed 12 years ago, has been cohabiting with her first child Farai Mbereko (23), and says she prefers him to her late husband's "young brothers".

Now six months pregnant, Betty said she had decided that it was better to "marry" Farai because she did not want to marry her late husband's young brothers, whom she said were coveting her. The two appeared before a village court last week and Betty stunned the villagers when she said the love affair with her son had begun three years earlier. Betty then proceeded to poured out her love for her son, who is 17 years her junior.

She said after spending a lot of money sending Farai to school following the death of her husband, she felt she had the right to his money and no other woman was entitled to it. "Look, I strove alone to send my son to school and no one helped me. Now you see that my son is working and you are accusing me of doing something which is unheard of? Let me enjoy the products of my sweat," she told the village court. Betty added that marriage was an agreement between two people and no one was supposed to interfere. She even accused her late husband's young brothers of wanting to victimise her son, saying they also wanted to marry her and have been lusting after her for a long time.

Farai admitted that he was more than prepared to marry his mother, and would pay off the lobola balance his father had left unpaid to his grandparents.

On his part, Farai admitted that he was more than prepared to marry his mother, and would pay off the lobola balance his father had left unpaid to his grandparents. "I know my father died before he finished paying the bride price, and I am prepared to pay it off," he said. He, however, admitted that his grandparents who referred his issue to his uncles had advised that it was taboo for a son to marry his mother. "It is better to publicise what is happening because people should know that I am the one who made my mother pregnant. Otherwise they will accuse her of promiscuity," he said.

He added that it was better for him to marry his mother because they understood each other well. "I have been living with my mother since I was young and I know we can have a fruitful future together," he added. In Shona and many other cultures, the two are not supposed to have any sexual relationship. However, the two vowed to marry despite everyone else being against the idea. "We cannot allow this to happen in our village; mashura chaiwo aya (This is a bad omen indeed)," said local headman Nathan Muputirwa. "In the past if such a thing happened, they would have to be killed but today we cannot do it because we are afraid of the police," he said.

He warned the two lovebirds to either break their marriage or leave his village immediately. Mother and son chose the latter option. They have since left the village for an unknown destination. Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) president Gordon Chavunduka said he had also heard of many cases where mother and son were having private love affairs. "Mother and son love relations are there but many are doing it privately," said Chavunduka. He added that it is taboo for society to accept those marriages but the situation is difficult to curb since modern people are no longer respecting their culture. "I only want to warn those who think they are wise enough to defy their cultural regulations that a lot of evil spells are following them," he said.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A black girl escrted to school: 1960 and 2009

On November 14, 1960, Ruby Bridges faced hostile crowds, and had to be escorted to scool by US Marshalls because she was the first black child to attend the previously all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ruby was 6 years old. (The Great Norman Rockwell created the painting above depicting that event.)

That morning, she had only been told by her mother that she was going to be attending a new school that day and "had better behave." Little did little Ruby know that she would be bombarded with jeers and even death threats; and that she would end up being the sole child in her first grade class because all the other children were kept home by their parents. All because Ruby was Black.

On January 5, 2009, nearly 49 years after Ruby attended her school, 7 year old Sasha Obama faced cheering schoolmates as she was escorted by her Mother and US Secret Service Agents to Sidwell Friends Elementary School in Washington, DC. Her Mother, the current First Lady of the United States of America, had Secret Service escort because Sasha's daddy is now the 44th President of the United States.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Uganda blackouts "fuel baby boom"

Uganda's annual population growth rate is among the highest in the world.

Uganda's population explosion is being fuelled by electricity shortages which lead couples to go to bed early and have sex, a minister has said. "While the rest of the world is working in shifts, we in Uganda are going to bed early," said Planning Minister Ephraim Kamuntu. "Then we complain that the population is growing. Why not?" More than 90% of Ugandans are without reliable access to electricity, according to Mr Kamuntu.

Night fever
Without light or TV for entertainment, couples are forced to retire early, spending up to 12 hours a day in darkness. Uganda's annual population growth rate is one of the highest in the world - 3.4% - according to statistics from the country's Population Secretariat. Mr Kamuntu said this was a major reason why Ugandan living standards remained low.

While the rest of the world is working in shifts, we in Uganda are going to bed early.
- Ephraim Kamuntu,
Uganda Planning Minister

Speaking in Mukono, at a workshop on the upcoming National Development Plan, he said that improved electricity infrastructure is needed to keep lovers out of bed. Widening access to power would also help increase the efficiency in the country's agricultural sector, he added. However, ordinary Ugandans were not convinced that the turning off of the lights is what is turning on the nation's couples.

"I don't think that a lack of electricity is the cause of overpopulation. It's because of poverty," said one.

"They are bored, they've got nothing to do".

"Personally I think it's all about birth control," said another. "People don't use contraceptives."

"I think that has nothing to do with people spending a lot of time in bed."

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

If you're ever under pressure from your first wife, just publicy deny ever having a secnd wife. Or a daughter.

Kenya's normally mild-mannered President Mwai Kibaki yesterday called a rare news conference to deny persistent media reports of a second wife which he said had put him in a "foul mood".

The 77-year-old Kibaki, who has seldom addressed journalists directly since coming to power in 2002, was incensed at versions by some newspapers and politicians that he has a second relationship with a woman called Mary Wambui. "You know and I know and everybody else knows that I have only one dear wife, Lucy here. . . but the media keeps repeating about my having another wife or wives," he said at his State House residence in Nairobi, flanked by his wife. "I have gotten into this very foul mood after listening to some statement . . . I want to say quite frankly anyone who is bent on that course will see me in court. And we shall deal with him, no other way whatsoever," he added, referring to Paul Muite, who had spoken about a second wife.

Lucy Kibaki, on her part, famous for a volatile temper that once led her to slap a civil servant who mistakenly introduced her as Wambui, warned media she would not tolerate such reports. "You have been tormenting us. I don't know what you get out of it," she said, before pointing at a cameraman from KTN. "I nearly came to your studio last night to attack you the way I did the Nation," she added, referring to a previous incident where she stormed into a newsroom. She has also been known in the past to knock the teeth off Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara and VP Kalonzo Musyoka.

The Kibakis said they would sue anyone who discusses the matter publicly.