Monday, January 31, 2011
Kenyans have been debating the health of the State since the first Failed State Index report was published. The Index uses 12 ranking criteria and, if you dispute any of them, then judge using the company we keep.
No thanks to our incessant divisive coalition government politics, now complete with a high priest, Kenya’s BFFs are now without a doubt Ethiopia, Africa’s poster child for human rights repression; Zimbabwe, a self-made pariah state; Sudan, a country with serious internal conflict, a whole chunk of whose population just chose secession; and Libya, so long an international outcast and still struggling to be rehabilitated into the world community yet its leader is busy stirring partisan sentiment in every corner of Africa.
So far, these are the countries documented to have sided with the warped shuttle diplomacy of our Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, the President’s apparent Special Envoy of Bad Ideas. The bad idea here being lobbying other African governments to join us in fighting international law. Any other explanation is playing politics.
This is not even diplomacy. This is suicide by government. From an almost dovish State, we are now beyond being hawkish. We have joined Africa’s Axis of Impunity. The Vice-President’s attempt to explain away his anti-Kenyans mission does not wash. It is one thing for our politicians to disregard the law, but to bring in other states to assist them in doing so is unheard of.
We can only imagine what political untruths were told on our behalf in Ethiopia, Sudan, Libya and Zimbabwe. Truth is, there have been no steps taken by the government to set up a tribunal – real or kangaroo – to investigate the post-election violence. The matter of the International Criminal Court is not one to play partisan politics with. How will Kenyans say this for our politicians to understand us? As Christian Wenaweser, the president of the State Parties to the ICC, advised the government, go straight to the ICC and sort out your issues. Trying to turn the continent against the court is futile.
Meanwhile, as the Vice-President flew across Africa, nothing back home has been put in place to get justice for PEV victims. We should never tire of reminding our politicians and government that all Kenyans are seeking is justice, as much as the politicians hate the word and what it stands for.
He suggests that a re-examination of the ballots be carried out, which is exactly the thing the intractable Laurent Gbagbo has been demanding. In effect, this makes the Ugandan leader the first to cast doubt on Alassane Ouattara’s widely accepted victory. Museveni says he has talked the matter over with President Jacob Zuma.
Whether, indeed, the South African leader is in agreement is one of the hotly anticipated questions in Addis Ababa.The unfolding drama in the Arab world is, of course, of much keener interest to the rest of the world, especially the Big Powers. With Egypt, Yemen and God knows who else threatening to go the Tunisia way, President Barack Obama is voicing the usual soothing words about good governance. But, in reality, America and the West are terribly frightened.
They are praying that these malleable dictators they have been coddling will not all be replaced by fire-breathing Islamists. Ironically, I'm keeping my fingers crossed against Hosni Mubarak getting ousted, but either way, Egypt will never be the same again. It is probably time that the West started preparing for a substitute they can do business with—like Nobel Laureate Mohammed ElBaradei. If not, the alternative could very well be the Muslim Brotherhood the West and Israel mortally fear.
There could be a silver lining to all this for the AU Brotherhood meeting in Addis Ababa. The violent disruptions happening in Arab countries have naturally distracted the AU’s Arab members, who would otherwise have come to Addis Ababa ready to pick quarrels over Southern Sudan’s secession, something they have not yet digested. In fact, the successful referendum in Southern Sudan was the best news for the continent, though not necessarily for Khartoum. Historically, Africa has never been kind to secessionists, and now the honour goes to the Southern Sudanese for having been the first to break the pattern.
Then there is the small matter of Kenya and the International Criminal Court. It’s hardly a surprise as the issue has been caught up again in the internal wars of our coalition government. The benchmark for a good hearing at the AU for a deferral was for Kenya to demonstrate that it was set on making the necessary changes in the Judiciary and the law enforcement bureaucracies. I believe that was why President Kibaki rushed to announce the appointments before he left for Addis Ababa. If, in the process, he chose to ambush his coalition partner, that could probably be because ODM has taken an opposing stance on the matter. However, the bottom line is this: Did Kibaki follow and uphold the constitution when making these appointments? Everyone is in agreement that it is not a question of who is the new CJ, or A-G, or DPP.
And just when the world will be watching the continent as it holds its annual jamboree in the Ethiopian capital, the most unexpected thing happens. The next AU boss – representing the entire continent – is likely to be a stern-looking man called Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the ruler of the oil-rich statelet called Equatorial Guinea. After Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Obiang is the second longest-serving Head of State on the continent. To be sure, I don’t believe all the things that are written about the man. But there are some I find to be decidedly odd.
He took power in August 1979 after deposing his bloodthirsty uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema, whom he had executed a month later by firing squad. Some time in 2003, state-controlled radio in Equatorial Guinea reported that the president was “in permanent touch with the Almighty’’. And his public speeches frequently end in well-wishing for himself rather than for the republic. Hail to the new AU chairman!
Friday, January 28, 2011
"He has been discharged," said Lt. Gen. Vejaynand Ramlakan on Friday. "He is stable, but will be subject to intense monitoring," Dr Ramlakan added.
Dr. Ramlakan said Dr Mandela's family were making arrangements for him to return to his home in Houghton in Johannesburg. South Africa's vice-president, Kgalema Motlanthe, told reporters the anti-apartheid hero was "in good spirits and laughing and joking with us." "Madiba is well," Mr Motlanthe said, using Mandela's clan name. Mr Motlanthe confirmed that Dr Mandela was "well" and sent the former statesman's thanks to the nation and the world for their well wishes and prayers. Dr Mandela's grandson also reiterated the family's thanks for the "spirit of Ubuntu" [togetherness] shown by South Africans and those further afield for their support.
Military doctors said the 92-year-old first black president of South Africa had an acute respiratory condition but had responded well to treatment and his grandson confirmed he has been discharged. South Africa's surgeon-general praised Dr Mandela's "amazing positive attitude" for aiding his recovery.
The South African government and the Nelson Mandela Foundation had faced criticism for the information blackout that followed Mr Mandela's admission to hospital. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe conceded that the authorities "could have handled the situation better". Mr Mothlane said the foundation received more than 10,000 messages for Mr Mandela including from US President Barack Obama and other heads of state.
Jailed for 27 years, he emerged to become the country's first black president and to play a leading role in the drive for peace in other spheres of conflict. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. His charisma, self-depreciating sense of humour and lack of bitterness over his harsh treatment, as well as his amazing life story, partly explain his extraordinary global appeal. Since stepping down as president in 1999, Mr Mandela has become South Africa's highest-profile ambassador, campaigning against HIV/Aids and securing his country's right to host the 2010 football World Cup.
Mr Mandela - diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001 - was also involved in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and other countries in Africa and elsewhere. In 2004, at the age of 85, Mr Mandela retired from public life to spend more time with his family and friends and engage in "quiet reflection".
"Don't call me, I'll call you," he warned anyone thinking of inviting him to future engagements.
The former president had made few public appearances since largely retiring from public life. In November 2010, his office released photos of a meeting he had held with members of the US and South African football teams. In late January 2011 he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what were described as "specialised tests" with the South African presidency reminding a concerned nation that Mr Mandela has had "previous respiratory infections".
Raised by royalty
He was born in 1918 into the Xhosa-speaking Thembu people in a small village in the eastern Cape of South Africa. In South Africa, he is often called by his clan name - "Madiba". Born Rolihlahla Dalibhunga, he was given his English name, Nelson, by a teacher at his school.
His father, a counsellor to the Thembu royal family, died when Nelson Mandela was nine, and he was placed in the care of the acting regent of the Thembu people, chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo. He joined the African National Congress in 1943, first as an activist, then as the founder and president of the ANC Youth League. Eventually, after years in prison, he also served as its president. He married his first wife, Evelyn Mase, in 1944. They were divorced in 1957 after having three children. Mr Mandela qualified as a lawyer and in 1952 opened a law practice in Johannesburg with his partner, Oliver Tambo.
Together, Mr Mandela and Mr Tambo campaigned against apartheid, the system devised by the all-white National Party which oppressed the black majority. In 1956, Mr Mandela was charged with high treason, along with 155 other activists, but the charges against him were dropped after a four-year trial. Resistance to apartheid grew, mainly against the new Pass Laws, which dictated where black people were allowed to live and work.
In 1958, Mr Mandela married Winnie Madikizela, who was later to take an active role in the campaign to free her husband from prison. The ANC was outlawed in 1960 and Mr Mandela went underground. Tension with the apartheid regime grew, and soared to new heights in 1960 when 69 black people were shot dead by police in the Sharpeville massacre.
This marked the end of peaceful resistance and Mr Mandela, already national vice-president of the ANC, launched a campaign of economic sabotage. He was eventually arrested and charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government.
Conducting his own defence in the Rivonia court room, Mr Mandela used the stand to convey his beliefs about democracy, freedom and equality in his most famous speech: "I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities," he said. "It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
In the winter of 1964 he was sentenced to life in prison.
In the space of 12 months between 1968 and 1969, Mr Mandela's mother died and his eldest son was killed in a car crash but he was not allowed to attend the funerals. He remained in prison on Robben Island for 18 years before being transferred to Pollsmoor Prison on the mainland in 1982.
As Mr Mandela and other ANC leaders languished in prison or lived in exile, the youths of South Africa's black townships did their best to fight white minority rule. Hundreds were killed and thousands were injured before the schoolchildren's uprising was crushed. In 1980, Mr Tambo, who was in exile, launched an international campaign to release Mr Mandela. The world community tightened the sanctions first imposed on South Africa in 1967 against the apartheid regime.
The pressure produced results, and in 1990, President FW de Klerk lifted the ban on the ANC, and Mr Mandela was released from prison and talks on forming a new multi-racial democracy for South Africa began.
Nobel Peace Prize
In 1992, Mr Mandela divorced his wife, Winnie, after she was convicted on charges of kidnapping and accessory to assault. In December 1993, Mr Mandela and Mr de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Five months later, for the first time in South Africa's history, all races voted in democratic elections and Mr Mandela was overwhelmingly elected president. Mr Mandela's greatest problem as president was the housing shortage for the poor, and slum townships continued to blight major cities.
He entrusted his deputy, Thabo Mbeki, with the day-to-day business of the government, while he concentrated on the ceremonial duties of a leader, building a new international image of South Africa. In that context, he succeeded in persuading the country's multinational corporations to remain and invest in South Africa.
On his 80th birthday, Nelson Mandela married Graca Machel, the widow of the former president of Mozambique. He continued travelling the world, meeting leaders, attending conferences and collecting awards after stepping down as president.
After his official retirement, his public appearances were mostly connected with the work of the Mandela Foundation, a charitable fund that he founded. On his 89th birthday, he formed The Elders, a group of leading world figures to offer their expertise and guidance "to tackle some of the world's toughest problems".
Possibly his most noteworthy intervention of recent years came early in 2005, following the death of his only son, Makgatho. In a country where taboos still surround the Aids epidemic, Mr Mandela announced that his son had died of Aids, and urged South Africans to talk about Aids " to make it appear like a normal illness". He also played a key role in the decision to let South Africa host the 2010 football World Cup and appeared at the closing ceremony.
National Cohesion and Integration Commission
Delta House 4th Floor, Waiyaki Way,
P.O BOX 7055-00100,
RE: TRIBAL TAGGING FOR POLITICAL MOBILISATION - COMPLAINT
My attention has been drawn to the ongoing debate about the so-called Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Kamba alliance (KKK). I note with grave concern that the so-called KKK has been associated with myself and other leaders.
To the best of my understanding, the branding of certain leaders as KKK is divisive because it purports to bring together some communities to the exclusion of others. This is against national unity, integration and cohesion. Further, the KKK tag is against the spirit of the new Constitution that the country recently enacted. It is instructive to note that the current debate on the KKK tag is taking the same pattern reminiscent of the perceptions that fueled tribal animosity and tagging for political mobilisation in the run up to the 2007 election. This misinformation, actively propagated from certain quarters, has the potential of pitting other communities against the said communities illegitimately associated with the KKK and vice versa and must be stopped forthwith. The KKK tag is being used as a tool to deny certain leaders the right of association.
Mr Chairman, the continued referral to the KKK tag and further association of it with myself, despite my repeated public rejection of the idea of tribal alliances, can only be interpreted as a deliberate and sustained campaign to malign my name and good standing among Kenyans of all walks of life, ethnicity and creed. Further, it is designed to portray me as having an agenda that is tribalistic, exclusionary and against the principles of cohesion.
The irresponsible use of this tag by certain politicians, foreign diplomats and its perpetuation by the media is creating a fertile ground for retrogressive politics of ethnicity and tribalism and must be construed as hate speech. Additionally, the KKK tag is designed to deny me my constitutional right to associate with other leaders from all walks of life and all parts of the country. It is my constitutional right to associate with other Kenyans without tribal tags being pinned on me.
Mr Chairman, in respect of the foregoing and in the interest of public good and furtherance of your statutory mandate, I ask that you give guidance to the country to the effect that the continued use of the KKK tag is against national unity, cohesion and integration.
I also request you to declare that the KKK tag is being used to set communities against one another. I ask your commission to investigate those propagating the KKK tag and their intentions and, if found guilty, to prosecute them. We cannot afford to see our beloved country succumb to the dark forces of ethnic bigotry, impunity and hatred as it did in the last election. I deem it my personal responsibility as a nationalist, a citizen and a leader to play my role in ensuring that this does not happen.
Posted by Amkeni Ndugu Zetu! at 10:32
Thursday, January 27, 2011
She wiped her eyes and blew her nose as she left the hospital around 13:30 (CAT). Madikizela-Mandela was with Mandela's eldest grandson, chief Mandla Mandela and other family members.
Anti-apartheid activist Albertina Sisulu earlier entered the hospital in a wheelchair and was later seen driving out. She smiled and waved at photographers. Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, Mandela's personal assistant Zelda la Grange, and the daughter of Mandela's wife Graca Machel arrived earlier. Senior military officials were also seen entering hospital grounds.
Three journalists from a Chinese news agency who managed to sneak past security and get into the hospital had their cameras confiscated by police. Media were barred from entering the hospital premises and could only get a clear view of the area by parking on a nearby bridge, overlooking the hospital. Police questioned the journalists about how they got into the facility and searched their pockets. A police officer at the scene said to one of them: "If you're bad to us we will be bad to you". As they drove out of the hospital gates, police returned their cameras.
Police and sniffer dogs earlier scoured the area around a temporary barricade of dark green shade netting and potplants set up to hide the rear entrance. There has been no word on the 92-year-old statesman's condition. The hospital was not planning to comment.
Mandela was admitted there on Wednesday for what the Nelson Mandela Foundation called "routine tests". The hospital public relations officer was seen taking refreshments and newspapers into the wing where Mandela was being treated. There had been no further word from the Foundation by 13:30 on Thursday.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation has issued a statement that said, “We can confirm that Mr Mandela is at Milpark Hospital undergoing routine tests. He is in no danger and is in good spirits.”
Many tweets were appealing for his recovery. "Please God don’t let Mandela die! At least not before I have got to meet him face to face," said one tweet. In fact, Mandela's name figured in Twitter last week when miscreants tweeted about his death which sparked severe criticism from the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “Nelson Mandela is well and on holiday,” Sello Hatang, a spokesman for the foundation, said in a statement, and described the tweet as “unsubstantiated reports about Nelson Mandela’s health.” The African National Congress (ANC) condemned it in a statement issued by ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu that it "goes against the African culture and tradition to claim that a living person is dead.”
Monday, January 24, 2011
Baby Doc’s rule ended ignominiously 25 years ago, three years after even a visiting Pope John Paul II said, “Something must change here.” Few moaned the departure. Haitians hoped for a better future.
US Congresswoman Maxine Waters has a soft spot for Haiti. In a statement following Duvalier’s unexpected return from exile in France, Waters said, “The plot to control Haiti has gone from the absurd to the ridiculous.” In reality, the plot has always been tragic. Here’s a very condensed history:
A lost Spanish sailor, Christopher Columbus, stumbled on an island, the western of which is now Haiti, in 1492. Since them Haiti has seesawed from good to bad times, mostly bad. The size of Belgium, Haiti at one time had the misfortune of receiving a third of African slaves in the Atlantic trade. At another time, it produced more sugar than all the British colonies in the Caribbean.
Best of all, Haiti is the only country with one historical accolade. Slaves successfully revolted. They declared one of the oldest, and Black at that, republics in the Americas. Napoleon Bonaparte, the terror of Europe, could do nothing. Courtesy of France’s demand of 90 million gold francs reparation, Haiti remained a debt slave until 1947.
Fast forward through turmoil and US Marines occupation to Dr Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, the 32nd Haitian president. He took office in 1957. A reputed humanitarian while health minister, he established a most repressive and corrupt rule. He manipulated voodooism to instil fear on Haitians. His secret police had an apt name, Tonton Macoutes, a voodoo monster. He accumulated more debts.
Upon the death of Papa Doc in 1971, Baby Doc assumed father’s title, President-for-life, at 19. Although he left much of the running of the country to his mother and father’s cronies, by all accounts Baby Doc remained a Tonte Macoutes. A life of luxury in Europe would turn into pecuniary embarrassment, now camouflaged with “sadness” and “apology.” He said he returned, “To help.” His lawyer says he hasn’t ruled out a “political role.” He must have friends to that end.
Haitians of goodwill exist. They should stymie that. As a former journalist Michele Montas, who fled Baby Doc’s tyranny pointed out, records of his crimes exist; so do witnesses. The Telegraph easily found one, Robert Duval, a 57-year survivor of Duvaliers’ Auschwitz.
Haitians should put Baby Doc, 59, on trial. They have an opportunity to put an end to a spiral of bad leadership, in a civilised way. The international community should make help to that endeavour a priority.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
SIASA DUNI EXCLUSIVE: "Lie down so we can finish you": The moment 'plain-clothes policeman' shot men at point blank range on Lang'ata Road
|Photo: Bea Spadacini.|
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
According to American website www.ciadrugs.com, there is exposition on how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ) controls the drug trafficking syndicates in the world. It gives a clear picture of how CIA, for their own interests. invest in the drug industry which currently threatens the sanity of some groups that appear to be a threat to American interests.
Recently, there have been media reports over the drug menace at the coastal region of Kenya. It's a known fact that while a number of American presidents and other senior American political figures have admitted to having used marijuana at some point in their lives, majority of Kenyans don’t even know how bhang looks like. Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Obama have admitted having smoked marijuana at some point in their lives. 2000 Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Al Gore has admitted to have had the same experience. In Kenya, and maybe the whole of Africa, such a thing alone will make one unelectable.
In the United States, the drug menace has been prominent in the non-white and poor white populations. African Americans have been major casualties in the use of drugs. With reference to the days of slavery, the days of the civil rights movement for the African population of America up to the days of Barrack Obama, the drug menace appears to be more of a political weapon, much more than just a social problem.
The elucidation by Alex Harley on the life of Malcolm X in his book The Autobiography of Malcolm X – as told to Alex Harley is in itself a lesson that people need to use as a case study. The transformation of Malcolm X from his drug days to being one of the most powerful figures in the history of black people speaks volumes. Malcolm X, were it not for his conversion into the Nation of Islam while in prison, would not have been the great man that people talk about today. With what some people came to call racist teachings, the nation of Islam transformed Malcolm X to the man he later became because of its strict rules. Under Elijah Muhammad, the members of the group realized that the only way they could confront the political challenges that faced the black community was to teach people to abstain from drugs, cigarettes and anything else that is universally considered as unholy. It is through this kind of calling that Malcolm X’s life transformed from using drugs to preaching Afro-American Unity. Malcolm X is just an example of how many Afro American intellectuals missed opportunity to excel in academics because of the prevailing circumstances that made majority of young afro Americans resort to drug use. It’s not a coincidence therefore that the drug menace to date is most prominent in the US than any other part of the world. It is not a coincidence that the drug menace is most prominent among the black population and poor white populations. It is not a coincidence that the drugs menace in Kenya is most prominent at the coastal region and in areas associated with Islamic faith.
According to a re cent newspaper report, the cost of heroin ranges around 200 shillings for the smallest quantity, while heroin goes at a cost of 500 shillings. I have not seen anyone coming out to ask why the victims of hard drugs addiction are only found at the coast and not even in Nairobi, which is the capital city and more cosmopolitan than Mombasa. The difference between the situation in Kenya and that in the USA is that the lower class whites and the poor black people live on welfare; that is the source of the money that is most likely used by drug addicts. In third world like Kenya, in particular the source of money used by drug addicts should be clearly established. The fingers are pointing at someone who is a world political super power who is islamophobic and more than interested to have the young people who have no source of income buy drugs. According to www.ciadrugs.com Under the CIA de-radicalization program the Muslim youth are provided with the money to use for the purchase of the drugs-to make them zombies and unproductive. This makes their prospect of falling into fundamentalist teachings minimized. The introduction of the drugs into the Muslim community ensures that there are no upcoming teachers of Islamic fundamentalism. The needle used for drug injections is said to be very expensive, something that has made those who use the drugs at the coast to share needles thus increasing HIV/aids prevalence at the coast. Following these facts, I believe that Kenyans should give a great focus on this exposition and stop following the misleading reports that come from any agent. While this method has worked effectively in curbing terrorism, it is sad that the situation is now at a critical level of making a whole generation is some of the parts of our country totally hopeless.CIA also knows very well that by doing so, the HIV and Aids will spread fast. This makes the allegations by fiery preacher Rev.Jeremiah Wright true that AIDS was designed to wipe out the African population.
In the 2008 campaigns, radical pastor of the United Holy Trinity Church Rev.Jeremiah Wright became a subject of controversy in the Obama campaigns when he alluded to the fact that drugs were pushed into the black community to ensure that they (black people) grow in crime, remain unproductive, unschooled and un exposed to education and graduate to prison by teenage.
According to their website, the USAID spends a lot of their money on programs that are intended to curb terrorism. The programs that are explicitly outlined are those that directly involve the Muslim youth in Kenya against radicalism and fundamentalism.Un-said truth is that the CIA has a specific interest in ensuring that the drugs (according to the reports, there are no drug industries/factories in Kenya) get to young muslims.In Kenya, majority of the victims of drug addiction are at the coast, a place whose majority population professes the Islamic religion. The drug menace has really messed up the lives of many young people at the coast. In the recent past, America did a survey on establishing the number of madras at the coast. After a public outcry from Muslim leaders from the Islamic leaders, Ranneberger started fabricating reports to divert attention from the CIA ‘de-radicalization’ of the Muslim youth program. With the drug addicts in the Islamic community, according to CIA,there will be few students of the Sharia law, there will be fewer students and teachers of Islamic fundamentalism. The drug menace is a religio-political ideological problem and not as petty as Ranneberger wants to project it just to DIVERT OUR ATTENTION. The drug issue is a grave matter and should be dealt with.Ranneberger has more answers to give us than questions. The problem is bigger than what Ranneberger wants us to believe; The buck stops with Ranneberger’s own government to stop bringing drugs in the third world under the guise of fighting terrorism. That is the TRUTH. So what is the credibility of Ranneberger’s so called dossier on drugs?
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Kenya is truly unique in that it is a dictatorship pretending to be a democracy, except that in the Kenyan case, it is not one man ruling over the majority, but a bunch of men and a few women in Parliament, who decide the fate of Kenyans. In 2002, when Daniel arap Moi was vacating office, we were damn sure that getting rid of Moi would get rid of the Moi in every Kenyan politician. Weren't we "the most optimistic people on earth?"
Nearly 10 years have passed, and I am seeing Moi clones everywhere. Our parliamentarians decide which Kenyan lives, which one dies, which one is jailed, which one is acquitted, which one gets State funding, which one doesn’t. As Nation columnist Charles Onyango-Obbo noted recently, “One of the things that distinguishes the Kenyan Parliament is that it has actually hijacked a lot of power from the Executive and even the courts.”
What makes our parliamentarians even more extraordinary is that, unlike neighbouring countries, such as Uganda or Tanzania, they are the least ideological, which, according to Onyango-Obbo, explains why there has been no full-scale rebellion or revolution in this country.’’ But if one places one’s ear close to the ground, one might hear an army approaching, leading to the start of such a rebellion.
As I write this, Kenyans from all walks of life are gathering their resources to present a petition against the government’s proposal to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to use taxpayers’ money to pay the legal fees of the six suspects accused of committing crimes against humanity. The idea is to use all means possible to get at least one million Kenyans to sign the petition before it is presented to the government and the international community in order to “place the Kenya Government on legal notice for any action which is contrary to Kenya’s sovereignty and its Constitution, and in breach of international obligations”. The petition seeks to underscore the fact that withdrawing from the ICC process and using public money to pay the legal fees of the suspects is retrogressive, and could have wider consequences that will undermine the already fragile situation in the country.
It is an attempt to register ordinary Kenyans’ anger at “the embezzling and diversion of the meagre resources which are intended to alleviate the situation of the post-election IDPs” and the “politicisation of a grave human rights issue”. One of the specific immediate demands of the petition is that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga unambiguously state their position concerning the Rome Statute and the ICC and follow it through with concrete actions. At this critical point in our nation’s history, let the two principals make known their views and not hide behind officialdom to protect the rights of not just those who lost their family members and who were raped or displaced during the mayhem of 2007/8, but also the rights of all Kenyans, rights that are now enshrined in the new Constitution.
At the very least, the President and Prime Minister should sack the five senior civil servants who have been named as suspects by the chief prosecutor at the ICC. They can call it “stepping aside” if they like, but those five suspects should not be allowed to control public funds by virtue of their position, and should be denied access to any privileges paid for by the taxpayer. In addition, for the sake of transparency, the government should once and for all make public the findings of the Waki Commission. Failure to do all of the above may lead Kenyans to take actions that will forcibly remove all those parliamentarians who are cynically disregarding the Constitution, international law and their mandate as elected MPs.
A coup d’etat in the making? Perhaps.
What is clear is that Kenyans are fed up with the business-as-usual attitude of our parliamentarians, and are not willing to be hoodwinked any more. I say join this campaign by writing to email@example.com or visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/One-Million-Kenyan-Citizens-say-YES-to-ICC/118431851563606
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Our sources reveal that Jimw@t had landed big gigs in Finland and Sweden during the Jamhuri Day weekend but failed to perform in one as his condition worsened. According to the organisers, he was however able to stage a show in Helsinki but that was it. Our sources in Sweden indicate that he managed to recover briefly, but a second, more severe bout saw him hospitalised at the psychiatric department at Oulu — a town in Sweden — for almost a week before returning back to Kenya. Early last year, Producer Clemo of Calif Records confirmed in the press that the musician was no longer part of Calif Records. “I want to inform you that Jimw@t is no longer part of us. His overindulgence in alcohol does not go down well with us,” he said.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I wish at the earliest opportunity to inform Kenyans and the International Criminal Court that the Standard story by Ben Agina and Beauttah Omanga is a malicious fabrication. Let me state categorically that:
• There is no informal secretariat or “think tank” established at the Office of the President to subvert the ICC.
• Therefore cannot be and am not closely associated with any such non-existent team.
• The Government has formal institutions within which it transparently discharges its core mandate and thus Government cannot discharge its legal and Constitutional duties informally.
• The Standard’s “think tank” of the six persons who are the focus of an application by the ICC prosecutor for summons does not exist.
I can therefore only imagine that the underlying motive in the Standard story is malicious, as the same can only achieve the objective of undermining my standing before the ICC, a Court to which, according to my Statement of 15th December, I have respectfully submitted myself to. I had then stated:
‘I respect the ICC as an Institution… I believe in the rule of law domestically and internationally. I always will. Accordingly, I am content to trust the judges of the ICC to independently review the evidence, and consider the Prosecutor’s application and to co-operate with any requests the judges of that Court may have of me.’I still hold the same views.
To the extent that the Standard story must have been meant to prejudice my standing before the ICC, the Prosecutor and Judges, the Standard Newspaper and the two authors of the story have begun to try me in the Public Domain, whereas very serious allegations have already been made before the ICC.
Articles 34 and 33 of the Constitution on freedoms of the media and expression do not allow any media house or journalist to purvey fabricated stories which malign people or institutions. A fabricated story of this nature has the precise effect of creating the impression that I am part of a non-existent team to undermine the role of the ICC and is an unfortunate abuse of the freedoms of the media which are guaranteed in our new Constitution.
Both Articles 55 and 67 of the Rome Statute guarantee the rights of persons during an investigation and rights of an accused. By publishing the baseless and malicious story which has very serious implications on me personally, the Office of the President and our Country’s standing in the International Community, the Standard Newspaper has infringed my rights under Article 55. I have instructed my lawyers to draw the attention of the ICC Prosecutor to the Standard Story and the falsehood contained therein, and in the meantime shall seek for publication of a substantiation of the story failing which I demand an appropriate apology from the Standard Newspaper and the two journalists for writing and publishing a fabricated story concerning me.
AMB. FRANCIS K. MUTHAURA, EGH
PERMANENT SECRETARY, SECRETARY TO THE
CABINET AND HEAD OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE
12 January 2011
There exist numerous accounts of the massacre, which took place at the Wagalla Airstrip, approximately 15 km away from the district capital of Wajir. Bethuel Kiplagat, disgraced former chairman of the Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission, has been accused of involvement. Reports of the number of men from the minority Degodia clan detained by security forces and brought to the airstrip range from a low 381 to upward of ten thousand. The exact number of people killed in the massacre is unknown and estimates range from 57 (the official government toll) to more than five thousand.
The following people quietly checked into a meeting at the Wajir DC's office and signed the Visitor's Book the day before the Wagalla Massacre; in brackets are their positions at the time.
Wagalla Massacre in pictures: