I am here thinking

That maybe we here in Africa & especially here in Kenya have got our priorities around this pandemic wrong.

Think of it this way. Since the first case was announced almost a month ago, 14 people are said to have died of the virus. In that time more people have been killed by police enforcing the curfew, mudslides, malaria & starvation among other deaths we deal with on a daily basis.

In the meantime, we have brought some businesses to a halt & I am sure as is common to this regime, we have created a few millionaires through no hard work on their part but sleaze.

By closing schools and colleges, we have cost school going children to lose time, endangered many others for whom school provides a safe haven, even if just for a brief moment.

Well, I guess social distancing measures work. I have seen vids about the Spanish flu of years past & how different cities faired. Maybe medics are right that this disease is different from the viruses we already know & we should stay at home for the time being, at least.

I want to know how some places have only 1 case since they announced their first case. Was that the only testing kit they had? Or did they find this patient zero before they came into contact with any other person?

I guess I am tired of these restrictions. It’s not really that I want to go anywhere specific. No. If you have watched the movie Sarafina, there is this scene Ms Masombuga says all she wants is freedom. That’s all I want. To move when I want to. I hate masks.

I just want all this to end. That’s all.


Click on the file above to see data for any country you have in mind.

 

Right of reply

Julian Kamau has written a letter to us privileged Kenyans to check our privilege. For clarity, you are privileged if

You have stocked your fridge with food to last you a month during this coronavirus period, you have stocked your pantry with dry foods to last you a week or a month, you are working from home with a laptop, you own a car (s), use a taxi or are picked from home and dropped by the office car, you live in a gated community or have 24-hour security at your home, your biggest worry right now is inconsistent internet or the disrupted power meaning you won’t watch your favorite series on Netflix, Showmax or DSTV.

Why is Julian so irked by this class of Kenyans? She thinks we believe

The Kenyans you see being brutally beaten by the police on the streets are not lazy, ignorant or difficult.

which leaves me asking where did she get this idea from? Is she projecting her feelings on the rest of the privileged class as she calls it? For one, I think our cops and those who lead them need a course on humanness. More importantly, they need mass brain transplants. They collectively as a group have no brains. Or maybe, Nietzsche was right, in mobs, insanity or madness is the norm not the exception. Kenyans know their government is violent. That there is little difference between the colonial and post colonial regimes is evident to anyone who bothers to check. Violence is always an order away. Dialogue is not an option. In fact all the opportunities are closed once an order to use force is issued.

Instead of throwing aspersions at the privileged class, we should question the government’s logic of leaving out taxis, public transport vehicles out of essential service providers? How are people to go home? On the one hand, these buses and vans have to operate at below 60% capacity, how are people to go home? Further, the government asked factories to operate in shifts, how will employees get to work? Employers, why not shorten your work hours so people can go home early and not be afoul of the law?

I respect the non-privileged class so much to believe they can speak for themselves. I also believe they are capable of assessing their situation and deciding how best to proceed. Let’s not make victims of people who don’t consider themselves victims. Our lives are intertwined & a lockdown would affect many of us negatively. I am an architect & my income depends on people being able to invest & construct. So while according to Julian I am a very privileged Kenyan, I am alive to the challenges of the casual worker in a construction site. If I close my sites completely, I consign them to starvation.

So I disagree with Julian where she writes

You must first know that you are privileged then use that position to speak for the less privileged in society or just keep your mouth shut.

because I think even the poor or less privileged can speak for themselves. Why appoint yourself their speaker and push them further away from where they can be heard? In fact, in these times, it is not just the less privileged who need to be heard, but everyone whose livelihood is on the line. That hotel employee, that bar waiter, the hotel owner, airline employee, and anyone else adversely affected by the continued restrictions on movement.

I find this accusation

Unlike you, coronavirus is just one of their problems but it’s the least of their problems. I know this might be too complex for you to comprehend

far fetched and unjustified. Many Kenyans privileged and non privileged alike understand how precocious our stations in life are. One is always a sickness away from poverty. I don’t know about Julian, but many of us belong to extended families with people in different stations or classes that only those blinded by fortune would be unaware of the problems of the lower classes.

But I agree with her that calls for total lockdown are ill advised without a commensurate solution to their daily needs. You cannot tell a person who is paid only on days worked to stay home to look at the roof and not provide for their basic needs. This corrupt government I am almost certain doesn’t have the means, the capacity or even the will to help the urban poor. If an allocation were to be made to help them, their numbers would be inflated & a handful of people will have a windfall.

So maybe, it is Julian who should know that the privileged Kenyan is not stupid. They are aware of what a lockdown would imply to their lives and everyone around them.

To my fellow countrymen and women

First I will start by saying majority of the voting public is insane irrational. In 2013, I wrote an open letter to those who can read imploring you it would have been much better to vote in a dead cow than the duo running for president at that time. Kenyans, millions of them, thinking they were defying the ICC and other western governments overwhelmingly voted for the Uhuruto duo and if that wasn’t bad enough, the Mutunga Supreme Court gave them a shot of legitimacy by validating their win and so we got stuck with an incompetent, corrupt and irresponsible duo.

Again in 2017, a good proportion of the public having seen the mega corruption scandals, ineptitude, the claw back on basic freedoms and rights, decided that the duo were the best placed to rule this country and on 26th of October voted overwhelmingly in an election where only one candidate was running to give him a birthday present. Fools will do what fools do.

2020 is here with us. It is not the best of times. It will take Covid19 to show the weak underbelly of this regime. It has been said by others more eloquent and brave than I that Uhuruto are incompetent, corrupt, irresponsible and illiberal. At this time of crisis, these four things will come to the fore. You remember the Afya House scandal involving medical equipment running to billions of shillings. The dams scandal. Eurobond. SGR. All these are coming to bite now. The government of incompetents will not be capable of pulling together the right talent to steer the country out of this mess because the only people who are willing to work with the duo are thieves. Or potential thieves.

Having no safety nets and a broke treasury means those Kenyans who will lose their jobs have nowhere to go. The impact of that on law and order I leave to sociologists to address. A corrupt government means that even if money were made available it would not reach those most in need. In short, we are fucked and as has been said so many times before, choices have consequences.

As we sit at home to ponder our next moves, maybe it is also time we reconsider our choices for representatives. It may go along way to making the difference between life and death.

I leave you with this passionate letter from V to us all.

There is a new sheriff in town

In 2017, the good people of Nairobi county elected a clown, a jail break of questionable intelligence to be their governor. Whether it was out of hysteria or plain old foolishness, only history will be the judge. Now, after two years of disastrous leadership, the other incompetent fellow at State House have taken over critical functions of the county government leaving Sonko basically idle and with almost a ceremonial title. The legalities of the process I leave to lawyers to discuss.

The new town Sheriff is Major-General Mohamed Abdalla Badi. If he is to clean the rot in the city government, I see only one way to do it. First and foremost, announce vacancies at development control. Fire everyone who is there and have fresh interviews. Those who reapply and qualify, move them to sub-county offices or place them in other departments or he should say goodbye to changes in that department.

Kenyatta said

“There are cartels running the city water supply, garbage collection, parking, issuance of permits,”

and if this it to change, a change of guard at the helm is not enough. A shakedown of the entire edifice is mandatory. Unless, this is one of those plans by incompetent office bearers to keep justifying their salaries while being incapable of delivering their mandates to the public.

The toughest job for the good major will be managing traffic congestion in the city roads. As Brian never stops to remind me, planning alone will not solve this problem and especially as long as people rely in their own personal cars, we shouldn’t expect any changes and I doubt the general has what it takes to demand radical action to change how move within the city so we might as well forget any changes in this respect.

Studies have been done around the world how cities can improve their revenue collection. I can’t tell to what extent the general believes that scholarly material has application in practice. It is likely he will do nothing creative or innovative to improve revenue collection or to come up with new revenue streams.

To improve public health systems, the county government or in this Nairobi Metropolitan Service will need to move fast to improve clinics and other health facilities, employ necessary personnel and pay more attention to preventive actions rather than curative.

The good general will have to allocate up to 30% of revenue to manage garbage collection. This again is supported by evidence from studies in other jurisdictions of what budgetary allocations are required to maintain some decent level of garbage collection, disposal and treatment.

He has a tall order which I doubt he will be able to accomplish. Maybe the general is an accomplished army man but public service is an entirely different ball game. And because I have doubts in the appointing authority’s ability to carry through with a challenging task, there is no where this Nairobi regeneration plan is going.


In Covid19 related news, there was a national day of prayer yesterday (Saturday) where among other things the president said

There are those who are saying that we should depend on science not prayers. But I want to assure you that even science needs God. A nation prospers when a nation trusts in its maker.

the same maker who has left the most Catholic country in the world in the hands of her medical officers.

He added

Let us continue to pray for healing, understanding, and prosperity. Our God is a hearing God and He will grant us our desires and our wishes.

which he has so far refused to the 13071 dead (as of this writing) from Corona virus. But maybe we are a special country, who knows.

The archbishop for the Anglican church on his part had this to say

When the children of God strayed away he would allow calamities to ravage their world.

And since god is ravaging the world, is it not best to wait for her anger to dissipate and she stops infecting people with disease?

I have read elsewhere that the theme of the prayer service was

 the apparent sinning and rebelliousness of man from the word of God.

and the guest list was basically all those corrupt government officials and the clergy that provides them with cover. Basically, the source and end of our problems arising from mismanagement were at SH. One asks at such times where was god?


In these times of Covid19 all one can wish his friends is to have a corona free day, won’t you?

for laughs

Cardinal Njue of the catholic church in Kenya has sent a letter to churches in Nairobi and Kiambu warning them of some cult pushing for FGM. In his words

“The group has had effects on individuals, families, church and the society. These group bears the characteristics of a cult and use of instilling fear in order to inculcate their doctrines and enforce their practices upon individuals. Numerous cases of family disintegration and conflicts and of emotional and psychological imbalances especially on women and children have been reported”(emphasis mine)

And i am here thinking loudly, isn’t the threat of hell use of fear in order to inculcate doctrines?

The bishop is reported to have also written

“It’s time to uphold the old and seize the new. When we combine the cultural beliefs and our Christian calling and have vibrancy in our faith,”

which though is what happens in practice, happens despite the church. The cultural practices have remained not because the church encouraged it but despite all its efforts to eradicate all traditional beliefs.

All dead men are good

Because rarely is a bad thing said about the dead.

Our second president is dead and will be lying in state from today (Saturday) to Tuesday at parliament buildings for the public to view his body & pay their final respects. We will have a holiday next week to mourn.

Now tributes have been pouring from left right and left about how great the man was. I will be the first one to say with Theognis of Megara that no man is wholly bad nor wholly good and the same is true of Moi. But man, the things the man did! The need to cut down presidential powers arose from his misdeeds. In fact one Kiraitu Murungi said in the past before the new constitution was enacted into law that the concern was to remove Moi from office.  I can actually say in passing that some of the loudest civil society people kept quiet when Moi left. They don’t see human rights violations in this regime. They didn’t see in the previous Kibaki regime. But I digress.

Many remember Moi for the school milk porgram. He also saw to the collapse of the economy. With Pattni and others they created the Goldenberg scandal that saw the country lose billions of shillings. He killed Ouko. He detained many others while being touted as the number one peacemaker. Excised our forests while being touted as the number one conservationist. In fact, I can’t recall what he wasn’t number one at. Brought down parastatals. Entrenched nepotism and mediocrity in government by filling positions of influence with idiots.

When I hear people talk of karma, I want to beat them up. This old man who ruled the country with an iron fist, probably looted billions of shillings and stashed in overseas holdings, grabbed land, killed others has lived to a ripe age of 95 (could be more). He will receive state honours. He didn’t have to spend a day in court to answer to any of the human rights abuses under his 24 year rule. And it seems all his victims have forgiven him. Maybe it’s a good thing to be old. Who knows.

Any way, as someone said elsewhere, let bygones be bygones.

Fare thee well.


After I finished the above post, someone shared with me the post below allegedly written by Oduor Ongwen

There has been an outpouring of love, adoration and canonisation of former President Daniel arap Moi since the announcement of his death yesterday. I don’t begrudge those trying to sanitise the departed former president and portray him as a saint. They have every right to do so because that is how they knew him. In their tributes, many have described Moi as “the best leader this country ever produced.” The Moi I knew doesn’t fit this description. In African traditions, it is unacceptable to talk ill of the dead – more so if the deceased was an elder. So, I will seek to not to condemn him but to describe the man as I knew him and let history do the judgement. Those who have acknowledged that the departed former president was not a paragon of virtue have averred Moi was a good man and a democrat until the abortive coup of August 1982 and his oppressive mien emerged as a reaction to the putsch. That is the narrative I seek to debunk.

Those without memory lapses will recall that even before ascending to presidency, Moi was part of political assassinations and/or cover-ups of the same. In March 1975 when JM Kariuki was reported missing and before his body was discovered disfigured and dumped at the City Mortuary, the then-Vice President Moi without batting an eyelid told Parliament that JM was alive and on a business trip to Zambia. It later transpired that very senior people in government – especially the police – were responsible to for the legislator’s execution and attempts at concealment. Moi lied to Kenya with a straight face.

On ascending to power in 1978, Moi sought to either kill or neuter any potential institutional challenge to his autocratic rule, however modest. Barely a year into his presidency, he in 1979 banned student union – the Nairobi University Students Organisation (NUSO) – and expelled the entire leadership comprising among others Rumba Kinuthia, Otieno Kajwang’, Mukhisa Kituyi, Josiah Omotto and Wafula Siakama. This was followed in quick succession by the proscription of University Staff Union (UASU) and the Kenya Union of Civil Servants in 1980. Simultaneously, the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) and Maendeleo ya Wanawake were coopted and later made affiliates of Kanu, the only political party.

As if the killing of these institutions was not enough, Moi went ahead to politically harass individuals that were seen as posing real or perceived threat. In August 1980, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o was arrested twice in a move clearly aimed at intimidating the dons that had been at core of UASU leadership. Others subjected to routine harassment were Oki Ooko-Ombaka, Micere Mugo, Mukaru Ng’ang’a, Katama Mkangi and Shadrack Gutto. In May 1981, Moi ordered the expulsion of another lot of student leaders seeking to revive the student union. These included Odindo Opiata, Makau Mutua, Saulo Busolo, George Rubik, Dave Anyona and John Munuve among others. As this happened, Moi closed the university for close to five months and for the first time in the history of the university, we were ordered to report to chiefs on a weekly basis. Despotism had become a hallmark of Moi’s rule.

Parallel to this, and riding the populist crest of fighting tribalism, Moi banned socio-cultural organisations like the Gikuyu Embu Meru Association (GEMA), the New Akamba Union, Luo Union and others.

In May 1982, Jaramogi had made a widely publicized visit to the United Kingdom, where he addressed the British House of Commons, among other engagements. Jaramogi’s address was on “The Role of political Parties in Africa.” A firm believer in the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy, Jaramogi had fought all his adult life to institute and nurture the same in Kenya. This had put him on a permanent collision course with the colonial government (who ironically were practicing the same in their metropolis but subverting efforts to institute it in their colonies) and post-independence oligarchs. Jaramogi’s lecture received very positive coverage in the British press. The Kenyan print media took the cue from the British press but largely ignored the entire content of the address, only reporting that Jaramogi had announced his intention to launch a new political party to challenge KANU’s stranglehold on power.
On May 26, 1982, the Governing Council of the ruling party (composed of 12 members) instructed parliament, the Attorney General Joseph Kamere and Minister for Constitutional Affairs Charles Njonjo to prepare a bill amending the constitution such that Kenya would by law become a one-party state. The resulting bill also proposed to create a new office of the Chief Secretary to serve as head of the public service. On June 9, 1982, after less than one hour of debate, Parliament of 170 members voted 168 to 2 in favour of the amendment.

Between May and June 1982, Moi ordered a crackdown targeting university lecturers, This resulted in detention without trial of Kamoji Wachiira, Edward Oyugi, Mukaru Ng’ang’a and Al Amin Mazrui. Maina wa Kinyatti and Willy Mutunga were charged with trumped up sedition offences. Mutunga’s charges were later withdrawn as he was also detained. Kinyatti was later, on October 18, 1982, sentenced to six years in jail. Others like Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Micere, Nyong’o, Gutto and Kimani Gicau had to flee the country into exile. In this crackdown, scribes were not spared. In apparent reaction to his audacity to stand against “Nyayo candidate” in a Nyeri Town parliamentary by election occasioned by the jailing of ex-freedom fighter Waruru Kanja for “violating foreign exchange laws,” journalist Wang’ondu Kariuki was charged with “possession of seditious publication” called Pambana and jailed for four-and-a half years. It is worth noting that by this time, the tyranny had become so entrenched that the despot had detained even the Deputy Director of Intelligence, Stephen Muriithi. It was at the height of this repression that junior cadres of the Kenya Air Force staged a poorly organized and executed coup. So, the coup was a consequence of Moi’s tyranny – not the converse.

The coup provided Moi with the opportunity and excuse to intensify crack down on lawyers, authors, activists, scientists, and (especially) university lecturers and students perceived to be critical of his authoritarian rule. I was among the more than 70 students arrested and detained at the GSU Training School, Embakasi. Having been held for two months incommunicado, 67 of us were eventually charged with “Sedition.” We were released six months later when the state could not manufacture evidence to convict us. But six amongst us – Jeff Mwangi, Tom Mutuse, Ong’ele Opalla, Wahinya Boore, Ephantus Kinyua and Kituyi Simiyu – were convicted sentenced to jail term of six years each. Raila Odinga, Prof. Otieno Osanya and Otieno Mak’Onyango who had been charged with treason also had their charges dropped as they were detained without trial.

More than the foregoing, the attempted coup provided Moi with an arsenal to settle old scores and assert himself by systematically instituting an oppressive one-man state through consolidation, centralisation, and personalisation of power while neutralising disloyal elements, real and imagined. In his book, African Successes, David Leonard notes that the coup attempt was “a piece of good luck” for Moi. The attempt legitimized Moi’s reorganisation of the command structure of the armed forces and the police. Once the attempt had been made and suppressed, he was able to remove leaders from positions that were most threatening. The armed forces and the police “were neutralised”.

Ben Gethi, the Commissioner of Police, for instance, was detained at Kamiti and later retired “in public interest”. Moi also eliminated Kikuyu and Luo officers from the military and put in Kalenjin and non-ethnic challengers. For instance, he named General Mahmoud Mohammed — an ethnic Somali — the army chief of general staff.
With the disciplined forces in the hands of handpicked loyalists, the political structure was next. President Moi had a Bill enacted that granted him emergency powers, and the provincial administration and civil service came under the Office of the President, for the first time in post-independence Kenya. In effect, a DC could stop an MP from addressing his constituents.

Next was Parliament, whose privilege to access information from the Office of the President was revoked, thus subordinating it to the presidency. The Legislature could only rubber-stamp — not check — the excesses of the Executive. That is how, in 1986, it imposed limitations on the independence of the Judiciary.

Two expatriate judges — Derek Schofield and Patrick O’Connor — resigned, lamenting that the judicial system was “blatantly contravened by those who are supposed to be its supreme guardians.” Parliament also gave police powers to detain critics of Moi’s authoritarian regime. It did not end there. The freedoms of the press, expression, association, and movement were curtailed. In effect, Kenya became a police state.

President Moi ensured that his presence was felt everywhere; he stared at you from the currency in your wallet and mandatory portraits in every business premise. Streets, schools, a stadium, university, airport, and monuments were named after him. He gobbled half the news time on radio and TV, where he was always the first bulletin item. Ministers wore lapel pins with his photo on them. Indeed, one Cabinet minister in the Moi government was said to have had a dozen suits, each with its own pin lapel – just in case he forgot and wore the wrong suit!

Moi was felt in the education system, in which students recited a loyalty pledge, learnt about the Nyayo philosophy in GHC, and drank Nyayo milk. In the remotest parts of the country, the local chief was the president’s eyes and ears.

Kanu replaced the secret ballot with a system where voters lined up behind candidates in 1986. Parliamentary candidates who secured more than 70 per cent of the votes did not have to go through the process of the secret ballot in the General Election in what was more or less a “selection within an election.”Take the case of Kiambu coffee picker Mukora Muthiora. He “defeated” the late Njenga Karume for the Kanu sub-branch chairmanship. Karume was then a former assistant minister for Cooperative Development. Provincial Commissioner Victor Musoga declared Muthiora the winner, yet he never participated in the election. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

On the morning of March 27, 1986, Moi stopped at the gates of Kipsigis Girls High School where I was a teacher on his way to Kisii Teachers College to preside over a graduation ceremony. He arrived a few minutes to ten o’clock. Perched on the sunroof of his limousine, the President praised the school and told the students how fond of the school he was. He told them that it was due to his love for the school that he had given them big land and dairy cattle. He spotted me and warned that I should not teach subversion. “I have sent you good teachers like the Secretary General here, but he should desist from teaching subversive behavior,” And with those pronouncements, I knew my goose was cooked.

On Monday April 14, 1986 at around 7.00 p.m., I was picked up by the Special Branch after a three-hour search in my house. After 16 days of torture at the basement and 24th Floor of Nyayo House, I was sent to Kamiti maximum Prison for a four-year stint as Moi’s state guest.

Moi’s vindictiveness did not stop at the so-called dissidents. Their kith and kin were also guilty by association. None personifies this than Ida Betty Odinga. A young woman in her thirties with three children, the eldest of whom was barely nine years old, Ida Odinga was thrown into the deep end of the pool of life by Moi’s police state and expected to swim through. This was at a time when Moi had placed her father-in-law, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, under house arrest. When Raila was arrested and falsely charged with treason, she proclaimed her husband’s innocence and went on to seek for him the best legal representation locally and internationally. This struck mortal fear into the face and heart of Raila Odinga’s tormentors. Ida was determined that her husband got justice. The State was bent on perpetrating a sham trial on treason charges then hang Raila. To them this young woman was a nuisance. But they were forced to make a quick retreat. Since they had no evidence to sustain a charge of treason, they had no option but to withdraw the charges and place Raila Odinga in preventive detention. Because she had shown that she could fight for justice, she was no longer just another teacher – a public servant. Because of her association with “an enemy of the State,” Mrs Odinga was now “a person of interest.” Even though she tried to do her best in her job as a teacher at the Kenya High School and bring up her young children as a single mother, the Moi government would use security officers to constantly harass her with a hope of breaking her. She was eventually retired “in the public interest.”

Maina wa Kinyatti, having been jailed on October 18, 1982 and sentenced to six years in jail continued to be tortured in jail by various methods, including being held naked and without food for up to seven days at a time, living with mental patients, subjected to arbitrary anal searches and being beaten with sticks while being forced to do physical exercises. The torture, in different form, was extended to his wife Mumbi. She became a marked person. Her interactions with her students were watched, her shopping analysed and her correspondences intercepted in the post office and read. On April 11, 1987 Mumbi was arrested while attending a Drama Festival in Embu. She was driven back to Nairobi and locked up overnight. In an interview with the New York Times published on April 27, Mumbi said that, during a total of seven hours of questioning, the police accused her of giving money to Mwakenya, organising exiles outside of the country and planning to train members of Mwakenya as guerrilla fighters.

Winnie Muga, was a student at Kenyatta University College at the time her husband, Muga K’Olale was arrested from their house in Umoja Estate. At the time of K’Olale’s arrest, Winnie had just given birth to their firstborn girl the previous week. As they arrested K’Olale, the officers turned their house inside out – throwing nappies around, moving furniture, and even ransacking the cradle. Leaving things strewn on the floor in both their two bedrooms, kitchen and the living room, Special Branch took K’Olale with him. Restoring order in that house was left to this woman that had just given birth a few days earlier. The police chaps did not tell Winnie Muga where they were taking her husband. The young woman was to spend the next four months combing police stations and the Kenya Police headquarters in Nairobi without a clue as to where her husband had been taken. After fifteen agonizing weeks of waiting to know the whereabouts of her husband, Winnie Muga was somehow relieved to know that the husband was alive but at the same time hit by a sentence of ten years in jail slapped on K’Olale after “an own plea” of guilt to a charge of sedition. It was alleged that K’Olale knew about the coup plot and actively participated in its planning and execution.

Koigi wa Wamwere’s wife Nduta, and Koigi’s entire family had to endure intimidation and harassment by police on numerous occasions. Nduta eventually left Kenya in 1988 to join her husband who had fled Kenya after detention and was now living in exile in Norway. Koigi’s mother, Monica Wangu Wamwere, had her house surrounded and searched by the police on several occasions and demolished twice. In January 1995, the police once again surrounded Monica Wangu’s home while a service was being held there in memory of her husband, who had died a year earlier. She had refused to bury her husband until her two sons were allowed out of prison to attend his funeral.
Josephine Nyawira Ngengi, sister of G.G. Njuguna Ngengi who was on trial with Koigi, was arrested in May 1994 in Nakuru. She had been actively involved in the campaign for the release of political prisoners incarcerated by Moi and participated in the Mothers’ hunger strike in 1992. Nyawira was held incommunicado for 22 days before being charged with robbery with violence, which carries the death penalty. Two other women, Ann Wambui Ng’ang’a and Tabitha Mumbi, and 16 men were charged with the same offense. All the three women complained that they were tortured while in police custody. Nyawira stated that she was beaten and that blunt objects were forced into her genitalia until she bled. As other people canonize Moi and talk of his legacy, this is the Moi I knew. To rephrase Mark Anthony in Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, The evil that men do lives after them;The good is oft interred with their bones;So let it be Moi.

Nairobi, February 5, 2020

How to know you are in a cult.

For those of you who read news, you might have heard or read about a serious locust invasion in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. The last time such a thing occurred in such magnitude was 70 years ago and as I told Modarnicus, those in higher echelons of power have just been talking. For example, here is the former cabinet secretary for agriculture telling Kenyans to take photos for verification.

With that introduction, we come to the juicy part of this post and it is supplied by Cedric who tweeted thus

https://twitter.com/CedricAnami/status/1221861212692021248?s=20

and I wonder how he buttons his shirts! He is telling other sheep to worship not the imaginary god, but the mighty profit of the imaginary god. I think I should move to another country.

I hope to all that is unholy that this is satire.

 

Against demolitions

The government of Kenya and many of its agencies have been demolishing houses they claim were built on reserves or on public land. Others to be brought down, they claim were built sans the requisite approvals.

It takes anything from 90 to 180 days to get a development approval from the Nairobi City government. Who has all the time to wait for a government unable to act in its best interest? If I put up a development without necessary approvals after making an application for the same, I don’t think it is right to demolish my structure. It makes no sense. There should be cures such regularisation and some other measures.

Suppose someone has built on public land, I think demolition is again madness. Acquire the building & use it for the purposes that land was allocated, if this is possible or put it up for public use. Those who build on road reserves, school land, hospital land, these I have little sympathy.

Finally, there are buildings on riparian areas. If a plot of land abuts a river, lake or ocean, I think one should build in a such a manner that they don’t grossly affect the micro-ecosystem. Their structures should not block access for members of the public to such commons.

Government agencies, developers and other stakeholders directly affected by these developments should have consultative meetings before development takes place to sort out any possible planning challenges than to wait until later then demolish buildings in the wee hours of the morning or night as the case may be.