Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Conspiracy theory: Who has been running Kenya all along

Conspiracy theory extraordinaire. Thanks to my brilliant correspondent in Nairobi...

Have I told you about my theory as to who's been running this country? Mama Ngina Kenyatta. And this is why:

Kenyatta (Jomo the Kleptocrat) became president of the republic at 76; that was way back in ‘63.

At 76, I honestly don't think he had the balls to steal and kill as much as he did. Meanwhile, Mama Ngina was in her 20s when she married him, and had all the energy to first and foremost, chase away all of Kenyatta's previous wives, and secondly, to steal land and kill everyone in her way. It is said Kenyatta got his first comma in 1970…

So, for most of Kenyatta's presidency, the old geezer was in autopilot as Ngina called the shots, including “tuning” Kibaki and Njonjo to support Moi after Kenyatta wore the wooden kimono. Enter Moi, and he owes her a big favour. It was only logical then that during the Nyayo Error she amassed more wealth, through business or otherwise.

Come Moi's succession, and it was automatic that he endorses her son to take over. Then Raila screwed up the whole plan with Kibaki Tosha!

The plot thickens. In Kibaki's first two years, she had no grip on what was cutting. She was lost. Now, remember when Karua quit government, she said there is a group of people opposed to reform? That’s what got me thinking and I slowly formed this theory.

Who would be so opposed to reforms in this country? And who would have the resources to so vehemently oppose them? It all points to the scheming Bitch! Kenyatta’s widow! If land reforms happen, she'll lose all that land she owns, the size of Nyanza Province. If political and constitutional reforms happen, she'll lose the dream of her and her son inheriting the Kingdom that Jomo once ruled. Think about it.

So, now back to Kibaki Tosha. If you read Michela Wrong's book It's our turn to Eat (which by the way I saw in a Kampala bookshop during my travels - it is banned in Kenya), she narrates how Githongo went to see Kibaki about the time he (Kibaki) got a stroke - only to find the geezer didn't know his elbow from his knee. He was completely incapacitated.

Githongo then says that a group of his (Kibaki’s) cronies quickly ringed Kibaki and took charge. And of course, the first order of business was to
boot Raila out from the MoU.

In my theory, that is when Mama Ngina got her gap; got the Kikuyus to ring in Kibaki. She then got Muthaura to run government on their behalf. Having had the experience of running government on behalf of a comatose Jomo Kenyatta, she showed Muthaura everything he needed to do. And so Muthaura has been running government on behalf of the Bitch.

Now, fast forward to December 2007, and who is running government? Muthaura on behalf of Mama Ngina. I'm convinced it is Muthaura who schemed to steal the election and used Martha and co. to do it.

Now the ONE thing, the one thing Mama Ngina didn't factor in her impeccable plans, was the OTHER LUO. The LUO who became POTUS—President Of The United States—who has made it a personal agenda to avenge the shit the Kikuyus piled on his father.

Remember there was no post known as Under Secretary of State for African Affairs in the U.S. government? When he appointed Johnny Carson to the job on a Friday, Carson was in Nairobi on the Monday!

Carson comes and meets Kibaki and tells the "two principals" to look sharp. He meets Raila the next day, and says Raila is “a champion of fighting for democracy.” Meanwhile, Raila was in Chicago a few weeks before Johnny Carson got the job. Remember? I privately theorised that he met Obama privately in Chicago, a theory that's now been confirmed!

Raila and Obama made a plan. And the next thing, Kofi Annan is giving the Waki Envelope to Moreno-Ocampo. Remember? That was all Obama's doing. Obama then goes to Ghana and tells them how his father could never rise in government in Kenya, despite his brilliance and his Harvard education, because of his tribe! The man is on a mission…

Now, I think that at some point in the Raila-Obama scheme, Muthaura got wind of what was coming, or was plainly told about it. The pensioner sees the writing on the wall and gets a fucking heart attack, which completely cripples Mama Ngina's hold on government. Before you know it, Kibaki is having lunch at Raila's digs! And Mama Ngina has no clue what the fuck is happening!

Then the Raila-Obama scheme culminated with Kibaki asking Raila to spearhead Agenda 4, which deals with past injustices (read dismantling Mama Ngina and her hold on the government and power in this country). Are you surprised then that one of the two Deputy Prime Ministers was having nothing to do with that function?

Does my theory make sense?

Museveni links Kampala riots to rebel group

KAMPALA - The deployment of battle-hardened and heavily armed soldiers in Kampala during the September 10-12 riots was based on intelligence reports that a new rebel group had infiltrated the city and was ready to attack. A highly placed source in military intelligence told The Observer weekly that President Museveni instructed the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Aronda Nyakairima, to move combat troops from as far as Sudan and Karamoja in North-Eastern Uganda to Kampala on the first day of rioting ready to quell a possible rebel attack.

The President, the source said, suspected that the Popular Patriotic Front (PPF), a shadowy rebel group, was behind the rioting, or would take advantage of them to launch a war. The PPF came to the limelight in June this year after the Army arrested 11 people, including a journalist, in Northern Uganda and charged them with treason. Gulu LC-V Chairman, Norbert Mao, who publicly said he had lost a computer memory stick containing information about the PPF, nearly got himself into trouble. The PPF suspects have since been remanded to Luzira Prison in Kampala.

The government claims that the PPF is supported by Ugandans in the diaspora, as well as several home-based opposition politicians. This is not the first time a shadowy hand of foreign elements is being cited as having been behind the September 10-12 riots that rocked Kampala and other urban parts of Buganda.

The suspicion arises from what the government believes to be an unusual degree of organisation during the disturbances. When riots broke out in Kampala and spread to other parts of Buganda, President Museveni told the nation in a pre-recorded televised statement that a foreign hand he did not name had rendered support to rioters. It emerged later that the President suspected his longtime ally Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Gadhafi, of having bankrolled elements in Mengo to riot.

Museveni said: “I also got information that Mengo elements got foreign funds to further their aims of fighting the NRM and undermining the Constitution.” The source said that Museveni instructed Gen. Nyakairima in a written communication dated September 10 to bring to Kampala the Army’s best fighters, including the 53rd Battalion based in Karugutu, the 3rd Battalion based in Sudan, and one battalion specialised in bomb attacks. The President further ordered Nyakairima to immediately find out “if they are rioters or PPF.”

Museveni directed that the Deputy Chief of Defence Forces [Lt. Gen. Ivan Koreta], the Inspector General of Police [Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura], and the Chief of Military Intelligence [Brig. James Mugira], take charge of the operation. The President also demanded that the 1st Division Commander be on alert, just in case his forces were to be called upon.

According to the source, Museveni, in his communication, ordered the Police chief to ensure that minimum force is used and that soldiers and security personnel should only be aggressive in self-defence. Museveni called for the use of what he called “non-lethal but firm methods” such as rubber bullets. He, however, added that if it is found that the riots are actually a PPF attack, the rebels should be “destroyed”.

The move to bring in the Army and all intelligence agencies, the source says, was meant to maximise manpower in the event that the riots were the handiwork of rebels. The riots that left more than 20 people dead, hundreds injured and 500 arrested, broke out after the government blocked the Katikkiro of Buganda, Eng. J.B. Walusimbi, from visiting Bugerere in Kayunga district, to prepare for the Kabaka’s visit.

The government had refused the Kabaka to tour the area, citing security concerns and demanding that the king first negotiates with Sabanyala, the cultural leader of a minority ethnic group that is seeking autonomy from Buganda. Although the riots were eventually crushed with maximum force, the Army has kept a presence in Kampala and this, according to sources, is another presidential directive.

In another communication to General Nyakairima shortly after the riots ended, Museveni instructed his CDF to deploy “enough security personnel in Kampala and surrounding towns.” He said most of them should be in civilian clothing. The President asked the CDF to screen all those arrested, identify the ringleaders and inform him accordingly.

More than 100 suspects have so far been charged, mainly with incitement to violence and malicious damage to property. However, another 20 or so have been charged with terrorism in connection with the burning down of Nateete Police Station during the riots. They face life imprisonment if convicted.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If experts can’t reach common ground, how will we?

By Mutuma Mathiu

It is 19 years since the clamour for constitutional change gained widespread support. Before 1990, the idea of changing the Constitution, if I remember well, was the preserve of dissidents in various churches, the Law Society of Kenya and the underground Left.

But in 1990, the concept of the review became popularised. And in those 19 years, there haven’t been many innovations. We have been squeezing and massaging the same ideas with the same aims: reduce the power of the presidency, protect public resources, curb tribalism in public appointments and allocation of national wealth.

The first attempt to rewrite the constitution using a constitutional conference did not work; the process produced two different visions. The failure to reconcile those two visions culminated in an acrimonious referendum whose effects, along with a badly managed election, have gone quite a way to undermine Kenyan nationhood.

Now there is a team of experts having another go at it. Reports that there are differences in that team regarding the direction the process should take join a growing list of bad news, including famine, evaporating rivers and an economy heading to the ICU.

Shall we ever have a new constitution? And would one even solve Kenya’s many problems? I was once talking to a man who asked me a question that I found very illuminating. He asked: Have you noticed that the Israeli-Palestinian talks never focus on substance but on the talks themselves? The two parties have spent decades discussing road maps and not the so-called final status issues.

A road map will come with conditions to be met by both parties for the talks to progress to the next level: denunciation of violence, acceptance of the right to exist for the State of Israel, a freeze on settlements, recognition of Palestinian statehood and so on and so forth.

Invariably, the parties renege on their promises, the talks break down and the whole process of restarting them and getting back to the road map takes years of angry exchanges, endless meetings and unending shuttle diplomacy.

On a bad day, it looks as though the peace process will continue till the end of time without the parties ever sitting down to negotiate the status of Jerusalem or the return of refugees.

Nigeria has been under military rule for a good part of its history. A favourite pastime of the various generals was to put in place lengthy and laborious mechanisms for a return to civilian rule. The generals knew that the mere mention of a return to civilian rule would consume Nigerians, keep them busy cutting political deals, haggling and fighting while the military had some peace and some room to plunder the oil wealth.

Societies do get consumed by processes, wasting decades, opportunities and the creative resources of the masses. The way we have been sold constitutional review is that it would solve all Kenya’s problems, from poverty to potholes. My biggest fear is that we will discuss the constitution to the end of time and, second, if we do actually get one, it will not live up to its billing as a panacea for our collective troubles.

The biggest problem facing Kenyan society today is impunity, the refusal by the competent authorities to obey or enforce the law. This is a much more serious problem than appears at first sight: that the law exists, that the authorities have the wherewithal to obey or enforce, but they choose not to. Will they not assume the same attitude towards a new constitution?

An additional complication; for a new constitution to stand even the ghost of a chance of getting the approval of Kenyans in a referendum, it needs political consensus. Such consensus will be a compromise of the political interests of the various actors. I don’t think there is a breathing politician who would sacrifice his interests for whichever cause.

In any case, even if they were to do so, would a new constitution, being a political compromise, serve the interests of Kenyans now and in future? I would expect that the politicians at the centre of power would tend to prefer a system that confers power and authority on the centre. Those on the periphery prefer a weaker centre to improve their chances of having more influence over the affairs of State.

Thus, the party of a sitting President will back a strong presidency while the opposition is more likely to choose a system that disperses power. Can these two opposing positions be successfully negotiated?

And will a new constitution respond to the new challenges of Kenyan statehood, or will it attempt to respond to the problems of 19 years ago with the same old formula. The Kenyan state is unstable, Kenyans have lost trust and affection for one another. How does a society respond to such a situation? Is there a constitutional cure? How does a new constitution deal with the refusal of the authorities to enforce the law?

One of my colleagues tells me he thinks we should put the writing of a constitution on hold for eight years to give ourselves a chance to sober up. But is there any guarantee that in that period we will have sobered up or will we be just postponing a problem? In any case, if we have waited, protested, rioted, fought, argued, connived and conspired for 19 years, shouldn’t we just stick to it and get it over with?

Many questions, very few answers. One thing I do know is that without unanimity within the committee of experts, the chances of a political consensus are severely diminished. If the experts can’t agree, there is little chance that the politicians will and even less that Kenyans, in all their boisterous diversity, will. And that sends us back 19 years, where it all started.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Face Of Tesco Is An Illegal Immigrant!

A checkout girl picked to model for Tesco in a glossy advertising blitz has been exposed as an illegal immigrant.

Fatou Cham, 32, came to the UK from Gambia in 1998 on a student visa, but stayed after it expired in 2001. Miss Cham, who works at the Tesco store in Beckton, east London, was chosen from hundreds of hopefuls to model the Florence and Fred clothing range for an ad campaign used in women's magazines.

Next to a picture of Miss Cham modelling a blue dress and heels were the words: "Designed by F&F. Priced by Tesco. Modelled by Fatou, checkout number 6, Tesco, east London."

Immigration officers questioned her at her home in East Ham, east London, on Monday. The mother-of-three was unavailable for comment when contacted by Sky News Online. She was quoted in the Sunday Mirror as saying: "I came here for a better life and never set out to deceive anyone. I just want to stay here with my family and be happy."

She said she had been excited to be chosen for the Tesco campaign and had hoped it would bring her other opportunities. "Now it has all gone horribly wrong," she added. Her solicitor Jamil Trawally told the paper: "I am sure she was brought to the attention of the police because of the Tesco campaign."

Miss Cham initially came to the UK to study banking, economics and finance at London Metropolitan University. Her mother and eldest child were allowed to join her in the UK in 2000. Her two other children were born in Britain.

Miss Cham applied to stay in the UK when her student visa ran out but was refused permission. A further application in January this year was also turned down and she has appealed to the High Court.

When Miss Cham joined Tesco in 2002, overseas citizens just needed a national insurance number to work in the UK. But since 2004 they have been required to have a valid work visa, although this did not apply to those already in employment.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: "As soon as we were made aware of this issue by the UK Border Agency we co-operated fully with the investigation. "We carried out all the checks required by law and the authorities have confirmed that they are satisfied that we followed the correct procedures."

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "The UK Border Agency expects people with no right to be here to return home voluntarily, if people do not we will remove them."

Be careful what you ask for, you may just get it

No one understands Justice Aaron Ringera, which does not come as a surprise at all. Artists are poorly understood the world over, and going by his rich history as an actor in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in his high school days, Mr Ringera qualifies as an artist.

Since his refusal to resign as Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission boss, or even pay for an advertisement announcing that he was a ghost worker, the good judge has acquired many well-wishers —people desirous of seeing him at the bottom of some well.

Many of these people, clinging onto their initial misconceptions about the man, are willing him to resign his poorly paying job at the KACC. They say he is all foam and no beer when it comes to fighting corruption. How wrong they are!

Others believe that the former law lecturer has chosen this season to publicly humiliate himself by getting into an argument with a Parliament filled with people he taught the law of evidence at university. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It took the resignation of Dr Smokin Wanjala, another legal scholar, a man of letters and KACC assistant director, to solidify Justice Ringera’s resolve to stay on — even without pay. Dr Wanjala’s departure, were it to be followed by that of deputy director Fatuma Sichale and Mr Ringera’s, would deal a death blow to the fight against corruption.

Fighting corruption is a cloak-and-dagger thing. It is not for the faint-hearted. If anti-graft bosses were to hightail it at the sight of a shadow, there would be no corruption war to speak of.

Many of Mr Ringera’s accusers say he has not prosecuted any big fish, quite oblivious to the rules of natural justice, which require that fish and amphibians face trials in aquatic environments. After gathering all that damning evidence against powerful individuals, Mr Ringera has always appreciated the need to hide it.

Would you entrust someone who smiles through a funeral with evidence on corruption? Exactly! Seeing that there is no surgical procedure to fix the attorney-general’s smirk permanently, it is best to tarry awhile. That is why Mr Ringera has been biding his time until Parliament makes the KACC a one-stop shop — its officers can arrest you in the morning, prosecute you by noon and jail you before afternoon tea.

Now, in its folly, the Kenyan public has been unable to understand this stylistic, elaborate and holistic approach to fighting corruption. It wants to take the photographic memory of three leading lawyers — one of whom has been a judge in the country’s highest court — who have been investigating corruption and place it at the disposal of corrupt, moneyed individuals.

You do not put somebody with the capacity to make roundabouts look straight out on the streets. The temptations would be endless, irresistible and insurmountable. Even Jesus was only tempted thrice.

The day there is a door with the sign Ringera, Sichale and Wanjala Advocates nailed on it, Kenya will have to kiss the corruption fight goodbye. You could guess who would be trooping into those chambers. Against their will, soul and conscience, these three good lawyers would not be able to deny Kamlesh Pattni — whom they have investigated repeatedly in relation to the billion-shilling Goldenberg scandal — legal representation if he walked through their door.

They would not turn away Deepak Kamani, who has been linked to the ghostly Anglo Leasing and Finance Company’s billion-shilling scandals, on conscientious grounds. After all, the right to legal representation is a human right.

If they attempted to flee from these assignments, citing conflict of interest, the lawyers against whom they have been ranged all this time, would hire them as consultants. Anyone who has seen what lawyers in private practice charge the government — anywhere between Sh10 million and Sh15 million a day — would appreciate that these new clients would compensate Mr Ringera and his would-be partners for the years of sacrifice they have put in eating the bread of sorrow and drinking the water of affliction at KACC.

Having taken the vow of poverty, though, Mr Ringera would not contemplate being exposed to such temptation. Quitting would be the easy road.

It is better for Mr Ringera to sit it out and demand that Parliament rescind its decision to declare his appointment unprocedural. It is better for him to go without pay and for the KACC to go without a budget for the next three years until Kenya elects a new Parliament that can see sense. Why, his sheer popularity would have common folk trooping to Uhuru Park to raise his Sh2.5 million salary through monthly harambees.

Even better, the President could send the whole Parliament home tomorrow and have a new one in place that would approve his budget, perks and all.
Parliament and everybody else would be well warned to handle Mr Ringera with care. Bad karma could come to it.

Those demanding the departure of Mr Ringera and Ms Sichale could just get their wish — but there would be celebration in the corrupt because finally they could learn what the government knows about them.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Raila meets Obama in U.S tour

Contrary to popular belief, our man in Kenya met our man in America during his recent tour to the U.S of A...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Police probe Bellamy altercation

Police are investigating an incident in which Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy confronted a fan on the pitch.

Bellamy marched towards the man, who staged a solo pitch invasion, and shoved him in the face before the fan was led away by match stewards at the Manchester derby game. The man ran from the Manchester United home section as City took the kick-off following Michael Owen's late goal in United's 4-3 victory.

Neither the fan nor the Wales international have made a complaint to police about the clash on Sunday.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: "At the end of the derby between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford, a member of the public ran on to the pitch, and was detained by police and security staff. During this time, there was an altercation between the man and a player from Manchester City FC. No formal complaint has been made by either party but police are continuing to make inquiries."

Mark Hughes has leapt to Bellamy's defence with the City manager feeling blame should lie with the supporter, as it is illegal for them to enter onto the field of play. "I did not see it but the guy should not have been on the pitch. That is not acceptable," said Hughes. "I seem to recall Brian Clough clipping someone around the ear and he was lauded as a national hero. Maybe it will be the same case with Craig but I doubt it. I'm sure people will make a nuisance about it."

Hughes also confirmed that substitute Javier Garrido was hit by a coin as the players retreated to the dressing room at half-time. Seemingly, the object was intended to hit Carlos Tevez, who returned to his former club for the first time since a summer switch across the city. Garrido was not hurt, but again the FA are likely to be interesting in more details. "Apparently so," Hughes confirmed. "Something came from the crowd but he is okay."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Banana sex cult leader hunted by police in Papua New Guinea

Police in Papua New Guinea police are hunting the leader of a sex cult who promised villagers a bumper banana harvest if they had sex in public.

The man and his followers fled naked into the wilderness when police tried to arrest them at the weekend, the Post Courier newspaper reported. It said the villagers in Morobe province, about 120 miles north of the capital Port Moresby, had been promised their banana harvest would increase 10-fold every time they had sex in public.

It said the cult leader was wanted for a range of alleged offences over the past four months, including threatening people and illegal sexual activity. Inspector Adam Busil said officers had surrounded the man's hut early on Saturday but he refused to come out. The suspect then made a dash for freedom with about seven naked followers. "He used his two wives as a human shield to avoid being shot at by the policemen," he said. "They were called on to surrender but they refused."

He said extra officers were being called in to track down the members of the group.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kabaka Mutebi warns against splitting his empire

KAMPALA - The Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, has said he is aggrieved by the partitioning of his kingdom, saying it's meant to weaken him. He said Buganda kingdom was established out of its hospitality and good relationship with its neighbours, but now the Kingdom has fallen out with its friends, thus creating divisions. “Buganda is more than ready to host other people, but it pains when one creates other cultural entities within our own boundaries. Buganda boundaries were properly stipulated in 1962 and they ought to stand,” Mutebi said. He was addressing the 17th Lukkiko (Kingdom Council) at Bulange, Mengo yesterday. He said in the 16 years of his reign, he appreciates the central government for returning part of Buganda’s properties, but the Kingdom still wants the rest.

“We want the buildings, the 9000sq miles, county headquarters and the land occupied by forests so that the Kingdom gets enough land for its people,” he said. Mutebi also said that landlord and the Bibanja holders (Tennants) used to co-exist, but now land has become a bloodbath. He stressed that the federal system of governance is the best alternative in solving problems associated with land, promoting communication among people and economic development.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A modern day desultory over-30 diatribe

Someone sent me this, and I thought I should share it. Hilarious, really. But only if you're over 30...

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning! Uphill and barefoot... BOTH ways!

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it.

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy. I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it.

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue. There was no email — we had to actually write somebody a letter... with a pen! (And not a ballpoint, the Bic variety —we started using those in secondary school). Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there. Oh, and Stamps were 10 cents!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick my ass. Nowhere was safe.

There were no MP3s or Napster or LimeWire. If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

There were no CD players. We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished and the tape would come undone because that's how we rolled, dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting. If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal. That's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent... you just didn't know! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister.

We didn't have any fancy Sony PlayStation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics. We had the Atari 2600, with games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination. And there were no multiple levels or screens; it was just one screen... forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died. Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on. You were screwed when it came to channel surfing, because you had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel. There was no Cartoon Network either. You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves; if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove... imagine that! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy.

You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or before!