Wednesday, October 20, 2010

20.10.2010

In honor of 20.10.2010(and days thereafter) which may never occur again in our lifetime I want you to look around You..look within yourself and ask..
WHAT DOES THIS DAY MEAN TO ME?WHO IS A SHUJAA?
Well,i came up with a list of the people who in my opinion are Shujaas/Heroes/Heroines of our time..

1.YOU.
Yes i said it (insert your name).You are a Shujaa because each day you have hope for a better tomorrow despite the lemons life keeps throwing your way.You are a Shujaa because unknowningly or otherwise,you inspire other in ways you could never emerge.You are a Shujaa because as life grips and almost chokes you,you dont wallow in it..you and at times with the help of other clutch at a straw,pull yourself up face even more challenges.
You are a Shujaa because unlike moulded clay or even metal you are not static,you change,you adapt to different circumstance and try as much as possible to cope and handle the (mis)fortunes.
And this and many more my friend make You/I/We Shujaas.

Therefore as the Kapenguri six are mentioned as well as Dedan Kimathi,YOUR name too should be acknowledged!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Natujenge Taifa Letu...

''Natujenge taifa letu,
Ee,ndio wajibu wetu
Kenya istahili heshima
Tuungane mikono
Pamoja Kazini
Kila Siku tuwe na shukrani.''


The last stanza of our National anthem sums up Kenya's walk and particularly in pursuit of the Constitution.

Tomorrow(27.08.2010) is the Promulgation of the Katiba; that was passed by a majority votes earlier this month(04.08.2010).

As a nation,we have come along way in search of these sets of rules and principles.

Therefore,lets us tomorrow stand up as one and be counted with the rest of Kenya in ushering in our new 'outfit',our new baby..our Katiba!

After the 4th of August we started a new Journey,taken on a new path...Let us walk together.


''Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving''

Empress.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

04.08.10

Fellow Kenyan,

As the subject suggests,we as a Country are about to make history.We have come through a long process and today could be our homestretch.

Which ever side we choose to view the Katiba, let us all look at the greater picture-Kenya.

Let us shun from any act that will stain the nation fabric that we have tried to clean up since 2007/2008 till today.

I salute all those who have cast their votes,those in lines awaiting voting and those preparing to go vote.

Most of all,I salute all those who will choose Peace over aggresion,suspicion and animosity;not just today but in the days to come.

Let me pen off from a writing I saw along Kibera's Wall :

PEACE WANTED ALIVE

Regards,
Eunice.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Where to Start...

Amalgamation of materials is the process by which metals are exposed to extremely high heat until they melt into a new compound. With people, this metaphor of a melting pot has long been applied to cultural integration. The melting pot theory, also referred to as cultural assimilation, revolves around the analogy that:
"The ingredients in the pot (people of different cultures and religions) are combined so as to lose their discrete identities and yield a final product of uniform consistency and flavor, which is quite different from the original input ("Melting Pot")”.
By comparing ethnic/cultural groups to ingredients in a recipe, we start with the assumption that each ingredient is important and the final product would not be the same if some distinct ingredient were missing.
In brief, the function of assimilation is the:
Establishment of homogeneity within the group;
What we need is an entirely new dialogue on the subject, one that allows for unity in diversity, not just in the private realm, but also in the public sphere.
Writers before me have written, spoken and even got detained for her, Kenya. I feel we have done enough of the theory work and what is needed now is the Practical Part of it. You know the need to walk the talk.
Well, well I am guessing you are reading faster hoping to find what I suggest we do…fellow Kenyan…I have no idea whatsoever on how to begin this…NONE…
ZERO!!
Mark that, I did not say I do not know what to DO…but rather where to START!!
Each Kenyan out there feels and knows that something has to be done. Something about this indifference we have in our country. From the suspicion among the 42+ tribes, maize theft, Cemetery land scandals to the battle between the Nouveaux riches verses the Nouveaux pauvres; what Karl Marx would sum to the haves and the have-nots.
Before I start listing and “preaching” about what I think I as a shareholder of this Nation ought to do, I’ll take the back seat…listen to the practical options we as a nation should take…take notes on what you think should be put in place…the Dos and once this is answered get to the other question:
Where to START!!
True Kenyan dreamers should not settle for anything less.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ugly Truth

"What is it, Grand dad? Is it a toad?"

"I’m not sure, dear. My eyesight isn’t what it was. We’ll need to get closer. "

"It’s very ugly."

"Oh, I see what it is."

"What? What is it?"

"A truth."

"What’s a truth?"

"Goodness, me. I thought they were extinct."

"What’s a truth, Grand dad, and why does it have to be so ugly?"

"Oh, truths were all ugly, dear. Most of them anyway. Some of them were quite gruesome in fact. That’s why they started eradicating them before you were born. I wonder how this one managed to hang on so long."

"What’s eradi…?"

"People started getting rid of them."

"Should I squash it? Can I squash it, Granddad?"

"Wait! Wait. Hold your horses. Let's get a good look at it. I want to see what kind it is. There were lots of different kinds of truth. It might be something new altogether. A new strain."

"Well, I don’t like it."

"No, not many people did, my dear. Lies were much more colourful, adaptable and interesting. And there were so many of them."

"Granddad! What are you doing?"

"Oh, nothing. I just thought I’d dig it up and take it home. See what it grows into."

"You mean it’ll get bigger?"

"Yes, and probably uglier. The biggest truths were really hideous. People could hardly bear to look at them."

"Ugh, Granddad. I’ll be ill if I have to look at that much longer."

"Well, some truths can make you feel like you’re ill when you’re not really ill."

"Why would anyone want to feel ill?"

"It’s a kind of protection."

"I don’t understand."

"Well, imagine every time you had to go out in the rain you felt a little poorly. You’d never go out in the rain would you?"

"No. But I have an umbrella. You can see through it."

"Well, that’s good, too. But if you didn’t have the umbrella what would happen if you went out in the rain?"

"I’d get wet. But if I felt poorly, Mummy would make me a bed on the couch."

"That’s the idea. So you see why truths used to be a good idea."

"I think so. So why did people get rid of them?"

"Why? Oh, I suppose they all bought umbrellas. We should get going. Your mother’ll be wondering where we are."

"She’ll shout at you if you try and bring that thing into the house. That’s what she does to me."

"Ah, out of the mouths of babes and sucklings…"

"I'm not a baby. I'm six."

"Of course you are, dear. Of course you are."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I am not my TRIBE.I am KENYAN.



Oh, so you are Kilonzo...Mkamba...?
An innocent question right? WRONG.
What does my tribe have to do with my
Potentials? Failures? Achievements?
These stereotypes grate me to the marrow.
You hear of a heist and the immediate thought is...Kikuyu's are involved.
Or a bar brawl and conclude these Luo's and fights.
Pirates ring Somali.
Plus many other tribal comparisons...many at times it’s an individual who has messed up but the whole clan is smeared with the iniquity.

I don’t know about you but this has got to STOP.
How?
It starts with Me, You and US.
Let us the youths create awareness to our peers, parents and community that:
NO TRIBE IS SUPERIOR.
We are Kenyans and this is what is very important.
Our diversity is supposed to unite us.
We are ONE out of MANY.

Unless we put aside our tribal differences, we will always experience the hate speeches lined with sarcasm, suspicion and disunity.
A time bomb
Reflect on Rwanda’s genocide.

TUACHE UKABILA.
In any case when it rains does it recognize anyone by its tribe or affiliation?
It drenches all equally.


Question: Wewe ni mkabila gani??
Answer: MIMI NI MKENYA

Friday, April 2, 2010

The 8 stages of Genocide



Stage 1-Classification :
Characteristics
People are divided into "us and them".

Stage 2-Symbolization :
Characteristics
"When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups..."

Stage 3-Dehumanization :
Characteristics
"One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases."

Stage 4-Organization :
Characteristics
"Genocide is always organized... Special army units or militias are often trained and armed..."

Stage 5-Polarization:
Characteristics
"Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda..."


Stage 6-Preparation :
Characteristics
"Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity..."

Stage 7-Extermination :
Characteristics
"It is "extermination" to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human."

Stage 8-Denial :
Characteristics
"The perpetrators... deny that they committed any crimes..."

WHAT PREVENTIVE MEASURES SHOULD BE FOLLOWED AND IMPLEMENTED THEN ??

-"The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend... divisions."

-"To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden as can hate speech".

-"Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen."

-"The U.N. should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations"

-"Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups...Coups d’├ętat by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions."

-only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection."

-"The response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts"

-"At the end of the day, it all summarizes to an individuals choices...will you pick up an arm to maim your neighbor? will you protect life?will you sit on the fence-undecided?WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Monday, March 8, 2010

IS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AN ISSUE IN KENYA OR MERELY AN IMPORTED AGENDA?

As the world today marks the International Women Day,lets ponder on something that affects the woman entity.




Violence against women is a global problem and Kenya is no exception. It’s more lethal than road accidents. Since time immemorial the woman entity has been subordinate to the man. Ironically though is the fact that her number compared to that of males is double. I’m tempted to quote Abraham Lincoln’s words “common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.” replacing -common looking people - with woman. History records almost exclusively the accomplishments of men when in fact much of it is due to the determined, unrelenting and charitable oppressed majority read as woman. Think of all the places afflicted by great poverty, Kenya for instance where the price of 1kg unga is higher than a dollar. Where a vast majorities per capita is less than the dollar. A woman at times with the help of her husband through this uncertainty will try to manage for the family. Engaging in both legal and illegal ways to avail a meal. It’s almost always that women will manage to preserve human dignity, defend the family unit and to protect cultural and religious values.

On the other hand though, violence against women is an imported agenda. Hold your horses, as well as that hot breath and relax the raised eyebrow. Let me expound on a hypotheses. During the times of our forefathers, pre-colonial era to be precise; women were to be seen and not heard. Loudly echoed by Marjorie Oludhe in her book “Coming to Birth” as well as other African writers. Wife beating was a sign of love on the part of the man. Wife inheritance as well as polygamy was all with the “best” interests in mind of the woman. Then came the mzungu with a doctrine, Beijing convention and everything changed. Equality, human rights and other new vocabularies found their way in our society. Like a new sponge we were more than ready to absorb and take in new ideas. As earlier pointed out-women were to be seen and not heard- did not mean that they were deaf. Epiphany. Hearing transformed to actions and viola! The once adherents’ of traditions and beliefs of their great grandmothers “broke” away their shackles. What had tied and restricted their freedoms were now no more. Gender equality, egalitarian society and prenuptial rights were just but a few interests championed by other women outside Kenya and Africa at large. The psychological card was used-if it happened elsewhere why not here? Things began to fall apart, the centre could not hold. Women had “known” of their rights, their line had been crossed and personal space intruded. All this an imported agenda.

Is violence against women an issue in Kenya then? Better yet when and what surmount to violence against women? One, Violence against women begins or is manifested when force or power is used to make a woman do, whether willingly or not something they would not have otherwise done .Failure lead to repercussions. Purposing that the End justifies the means. The violence includes and is not limited to :sexual abuse including rape and incest by family members, forced marriages, dowry related violence, marital rape, sexual harassment, intimidation at work leading to resignations ; thus not surprising that women are increasingly dominating the ranks of the impoverished also feminization of poverty, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, forced sterilization ,forced labor, trafficking and forced prostitution and not forgetting Female Genital Multination is an umbrella term for procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons . Violence can be seen as an indicator of the need to have a method at preventing STD and HIV/AIDS infections and re-infections in women. A lot of women who are married or are in stable sexual relationships are being infected and re-infected because when they know their partner had other affairs, women's low status in relationship precipitate the fear and possibility of violence and rejection which makes it impossible for them to negotiate for safer sex. The fact that women and children continue to be traded abused and defiled for the sake of basic commodities such as food and survival in their communities, in the internally displaced people’s camps and basically in their country. All of these forms of violence are associated with power inequalities. Of the mentioned, a majority if not all the mentioned happen in our midst. Yes. Right here in Kenya. Surprised? I highly doubt. I have a few examples of violence against women from various parts of the country.

Case in study one, is Mbithe,who hails in Kitise division of Makueni district. Unkempt hair growing prematurely at the temples. Her bones protrude through her blouse that has seen better days. Pulls absently on the hem of her dirty blue skirt. An orphan at 15, she was “married of” to Muteve a chatty granny with a wig of white hair. She has nine children. The two eldest children class eight drop out. She works by digging terraces or constructing fences for their fairly well off neighbors. Her husband a retired civil servant awaits his pension. The other members of his family who earn a salary are Mbithe’s two daughters-the class eight drop outs-who work as house girls in Nairobi. Recently one of her young daughter was impregnated by the village elder, Makau. Who refused the responsibility? Mbithe cannot file a case against the man because she is not only financially unable but also the society requires the husband of the homestead to take up the matter to the necessary authorities. Muteve is friends with Makau who always bribes him with a jar of traditional brew whenever Muteve brings up the issue. As sad as this is, Mbithe is forced to be accept the foggy fate of her child.

Case in study two, is 69 year old Jane Nyahira who lives in Kirinyaga at her parents home. She is a victim of both fistula and hysterectomy. This shattered her dreams of ever having children of her own. This pushed her husband to marry another woman who gave him children and did not have the problems Nyahira did. The fistula had caused a leak in her bladder that seeped out urine. This caused a pungent smell around her. This sent her packing to her parents who after a while of bearing with the situation got tired of the stench. So they built her a house away from their homestead where she lived in isolation and destitution. The disease is associated with social stigma. This is because of the constant smell of stool or urine, so she tended to avoid society all together. Untreated fistula leads to shrinking of the birth canal; this greatly affects her sexual relations and can easily lead to domestic violence, battering and even broken marriages.

Case in study three, Jasmine Muyobe* (not her real name) recounts the tale of one night after the announcement of the disputed presidential poll results in Kenya in 2007. The single mother of four children spend the day terrified, behind closed doors in her house flinching at the gunshots that filled the air.
"It was two days after the announcement of the presidential results and the violence was raging. I live near a slum and soon the chaos moved from the informal settlement into the suburbs. That evening someone knocked hard at my gate calling out my neighbor’s name. I went to talk to the person and when he said he wanted to see my neighbor who was not around, I decided to open the gate," Muyobe says.
But the stranger pushed the young mother back into her house and proceeded to rape her repeatedly all night long.
"My children were asleep. They had no idea what was going on. Early the next morning, he left without a word as if nothing had happened.
"From that day my life changed… I chose not to talk to anyone about the rape. A month later, in February 2007, I discovered I was pregnant and infected with HIV," Muyobe says. Almost two years after that fateful evening, Muyobe told her story to a group of journalists and representatives of human rights organizations documenting testimonies of women who survived sexual violence during the post-election violence. As a result of the delay in announcing the hot contested elections, tension and anxiety was brewing. Escalating with every minute. The country was itching and scratching in discomfort. A wave of uncertainty enveloped the nation. When ECK declared the winner, hell broke loose. Neighbours went against the grail; hacking, maiming, destruction, anger and suspicion. Houses were not only robbed of their property but of their dignity as well. The once friends became fiend. Kenya was burning. Violence aimed at women was rampant - manifested in rape, physical assault, harassment, as well as verbal abuses. Waki report can attest. Violence against women, right here in Kenya! “Violence against women has been systematic and entrenched in our society, but the post-election period saw an unprecedented number of women subjected to widespread sexual violence," says Rosemary Okello, executive director of another partner in the documentary project, the African Woman and Child Feature Service (AWCFS), which promotes diversity, gender equity, social justice and development in Africa through media, training and research.
"Many women were sexually assaulted, gang raped or sodomised. Many of these acts of sexual violence occurred in the presence of the women's spouses, children or parents causing trauma, humiliation and stress suffered by the survivors and their families. Women survivors become guiltier than the perpetrators of the violence," says Urgent Action Fund (UAF-Africa), executive director Jessica Nkuuhe.

The women fear to share what they have been through because they are afraid of stigma and being deserted by their families, especially their spouses. They thus shut down and unfortunately this ordeal eats at their very existence, giving rise to depression and eventually some lose the will to live and die miserable."
Kenyan Member of Parliament, Millie Odhiambo says unless women speak out, sexual offences committed in times of conflict will go unpunished. The Gender Violence Recovery Centre at the Nairobi Women's Hospital the only center of its kind in East and Central Africa provides the following data. Over 80% (356) of the cases that they treated at the center were sexual violence related. Of these 80%, 93% of them were adult women survivors with the rest accounted for by children and men. 9% were of physical assault, 7% domestic violence related cases and 4 % were of indecent assault. They further reported attending to over 650 cases of sexual violence during the chaos. Anecdotal evidence suggests thousands of other women across the country survived similar violence.

The violence that rocked Kenya in the aftermath of the disputed 2007 presidential elections brought to the fore an already well known phenomena – sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). The violence that was witnessed in the country is not new, what may have been new is the magnitude, intensity and spread. An examination of the 1992 – Molo Clashes, 1997 - Likoni clashes and other land/ethnic clashes (Wagalla massacre et al) that have chequered the history of Kenya, reveal that the site on which these conflicts have been staged has been on women’s bodies and their person. In the aftermath of the 1997 clashes, a woman resident at the Maela camp where women were frequently raped by security personnel when they left camp in search for food or for work as day labourers noted: ‘even though we knew this was likely to happen we continued to work because our children were hungry and we had no choice’ (Amnesty. 2004).

Violence against women is a well acknowledge weapon of war; a tool used to achieve military objectives… many forms of violence that women suffer during armed conflict are gender specific both in result and nature (Amnesty. 2004)’. While this is treated as a fact, energy is often directed towards establishing the perpetrators, financers and sustainers of clashes with little energy or time devoted to the gendered dimensions and repercussions of the conflict and by this we mean the impact of clashes on women. It begs the question – where are our priorities – where is our focus? Where is our focus in Kenya?

For instance:

>Over half a million women continue to die each year from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes.
> Rates of HIV infection among women are rapidly increasing. Among those 15-24 years of age, young women now constitute the majority of those newly infected, in part because of their economic and social vulnerability.
> Gender-based violence kills and disables as many women between the ages of 15 and 44 as cancer. More often than not, perpetrators go unpunished.
> Worldwide, women are twice as likely as men to be illiterate.
> As a consequence of their working conditions and characteristics, a disproportionate number of women are impoverished in both developing and developed countries. Despite some progress in women’s wages in the 1990s, women still earn less than men, even for similar kinds of work.
> In addition, the new challenges for women’s empowerment and gender equality that have emerged over the past decade, such as the feminization of the AIDS epidemic.

In light of all that has been mentioned and witnessed ,that for a fact violence against women is an issue in Kenya. What ought to be done ? What have you done? To begin with this essay is my continued effort to create awareness not only to my fellow women but to the men as well. Gender-based violence is an issue that concerns all men and not just those that behave violently; in this way the roots of male violence, which is the one of the foundations of patriarchy, can be explored. It’s really saddening that some women have accepted this marginalizing yoke of violence against them. We need to speak and write about this violence against women. The pen is mightier than the sword. I hope this documentation will be part of healing for survivors, as well as creating a vivid and accurate record of gender-based crimes committed both for prosecution and for the historical memory of the country.

Further more, other strategies to avert if not curb fervor against women can include:

* Reveal and question the values promoting or glamorizing violence – competition,hardness, insensitivity, idolizing winners in war, sports and business life.

* Analyze and question male roles and ideals, the concept of “male honour” prevailing in male cultures.

* Develop and value fatherhood; develop the skills and qualities of fatherhood among men and boys.

* Integrate a gender perspective into school education to create awareness of the different positions of boys and girls within the family, in culture and reproduction,and to promote their development into balanced personalities and into men and women in a relationship of equality and mutual respect.

* Develop legislation on violence against women to criminalize gender violence in all forms and provide women with protection when facing violence or being threatened by it.

* Increase the number of shelters for women and support the work of shelters and counselling services.

* Help men to abandon their violent behaviour by establishing support and therapy services and providing appropriate therapies.

* Encourage men to establish their own groups and voluntary activities to combat men’s violence against women, and support such movements.

* Increase the proportion of women in politics, foreign policy and international decision-making.

* Promote and further secure equality between women and men both through legislative and administrative means and through changing public opinion and shaping attitudes and values, thus building a culture of equality and peace.

Indeed, violence against women”, said the then UN secretary general, Kofi Annan in 1999, “knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. It’s perhaps the most shameful human right violation”. And he added it is “perhaps the most pervasive". Is violence against women an issue in Kenya? YES IT IS.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WHERE TRIBE "COUNTS"

It is worth mentioning that ethnicity/tribalism is a continental problem and is evident at all levels of society.The piece below(Rwandan setting) elaborates:



"Athanase finished his speech persuasively. He was a short, plump and
brown young man. So far he was the preferred candidate for the post.On the other hand was Ms Bagorosa, the shortest in class who barely spoke except when
she answered the register was another candidate.Batwa's were known for their quiet nature. She spoke in a soft tone.

“Why are we polarized on our ethnic affiliations?” she asked

“Batutsis, Bahutu and us are all EQUAL. We all can make leaders” she
for the first time spoke strongly.

“We are one.” Miriam concluded.

Immediately desks shoved and a tall thin lad stood up. His uniform had
seen better days and his zipper was threatening to let go. The pair of
shorts was twice smaller. His shirt was creased and the green tie
loosely dangling on his neck.

“I-I Kambanda, cannot be led- by-by an INYEZI. Period.” Kambanda spoke
in his stammer. As he scanned around the class and moved in short
paces.

Infuriated ,“I wonder what-doctrine this Ma-dame (pointing at Miriam)
wants to
In calculate in us. These Tutsi -are -lazy –pe-ople, idle and you want
to have one as a prefect? (looks at Athanase, chuckles and laughs
sarcastically) guys when I become the prefect-I promise-to…”

The time keeper interrupted “your 2 minutes are over…” Each speech was exactly
2 minutes. Mr. Seromba looked rather perturbed by the interjection
retorted:
“Young man, Kambanda is very intelligent and he knows what he is
doing...On the time issue.Don’t you know his people??Kambanda my boy,
proceed.”

There was clapping and praise on one side and the other murmured,
banged desks and others shot up in disagreement. The tumult picked up
momentum; INYEZI! INYEZI!This provocation led to flying
books,bags,papers,pens ,poke, shove and the bin went straight to the
teachers HEAD!!
Silence.
Fear lingered.

WHO DID THIS? I WANT A NAME!!!!

Disgusted “I know its one of those stinking cockroaches…”Kambanda’s
cousin, Mwanamba cajoled.
The teacher was fuming. He walked towards the class pulling out all
the non Hutu students. They were conspicuously brown.Mr Seromba,a black
coal shiny giant man looked like the ying yang symbol when standing
next to them. He hated them even more because the deputy, his greatest
fiend was a Tutsi. Athanase and Ms Bagorosa were the first ones out,
followed by their ‘followers’. They were to kneel on the hot assembly
ground.

“Nobody except Kambanda shall be prefect and I will personally see to
it”Mr Seromba reverberated as he straightened and rubbed his soiled
suit. Picked up his cane and handed Kambanda the coveted badge as he
walked out.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

OF THE ISLAND,MIGINGO


The love of ones country is a splendid thing..but why should love stop at the border?
This is in regard to the Migingo issue..the hate speech from both sides(Kenya and Uganda), revenge tactics(uprooting the railway line,no fishing) and suspicion will not solve the problem..instead it will or might lead to an aggression.
I think we should let the matter be solved tactfully and amicably by the respective authorities.
On a lighter note,Museveni gave us exactly what we wanted..The Island and he was left with the water...did it quell the problem..NOT QUITE.
Point being?
You cant separate the two thus negotiation is important here.
Then again if we think force and payback will solve the crisis..both parties should realise that they stand to lose be it directly or indirectly.
Before you embark on a journey of Revenge,dig two graves.

WHY I SUPPORT ETHNIC SUICIDE

A boy was walking on the beach with his father when they saw a man fishing. Getting closer, the boy noticed a bucket full of live crabs. To his surprise, the bucket was not covered. And so he asked his father “why hasn’t the man covered the bucket? Won’t the crabs escape? ” “You see, my son,” the father explained, “if you have only one crab in the bucket, it will crawl out so fast you will not catch it. But when the crabs are many, if one tries to escape, the others will pull it down to the bottom of the bucket. This way, they all share in the misery and in the ultimate fate.” We are all in a bucket called tribe. And the fisherman is the ‘‘tribal king’’. So long as we are together in the bucket, we are enslaved. But if we are put in the bucket as individuals, we will escape with speed. This is why we must reject tribe as our unifying factor and organising ideology.It gives a false sense of belonging, but it rarely feeds your children. This is why I call it a material lie. My proposal to the country therefore is this: We should all commit ethnic suicide.

But committing ethnic suicide has another two benefits. One, we will be able to see things as they are. Not as we are. Currently, the country is sober. But once Mr Moreno Ocampo lands, the polarities will emerge. Similarly, we have no views about the constitution. But what the politicians will oppose is what we will follow.

But with ethnic suicide, we will become human beings not tribal animals. Instead of supporting the politicians over the constitution, we will make a constitution for our children. And this is why we should listen to the church over the ‘‘stabilisation reforms’’. Our tunnel vision is limiting us on this matter.

Two, ethnic suicide will jump-start the process of healing. According to the ‘‘Law of Nature’’, something must die for the new to emerge. And nothing illustrates this better than the metamorphosis of a butterfly. After the egg hatches, it begins life in the ‘‘pupa’’ stage before entering the ‘‘larva’’ stage as a caterpillar.

Then the caterpillar weaves a silky cocoon around its body, suspends itself on a leafy branch and takes a long deep, deep sleep. Warmed by the sun, and protected from the rain, it waits. Then, one day movement occurs and a butterfly emerges. After drying its new wings in the morning breeze, it takes off into the air.

In each of the stages, something dies. But no loss is experienced because something new, even better, emerges. And this is what nature is calling us to do for Mother Kenya. Something must die for the new to emerge. Are we ready for this? My name is Eunice Kilonzo and I will commit ethnic suicide for the love of Kenya!

POLITICAL DEFENCE

I was misquoted.
This is political persecution.
I have never taken a bribe.
I was misquoted.
This is political witch-hunt.
There are no missing funds.
I just borrowed the funds.
I was miscounted.
The bribe was not corruption.
I just borrowed the missing borrowed funds.
I borrowed the bribe.
This is political witch-hunt of borrowed funds
The corruption was misquoted.
Corruption!, What corruption?

THE UNSUNG HERO


(Dedicated to all those that put their weapons down during the Post-election Violence...were humane enough to spare a life)





By Stephen Derwent Partington

" We praise the man who,
though he held the match between
his finger and his thumb,
beheld the terror of its tiny drop of phosphorous,
its brown and globoid smoothness
like a charred and tiny skull
and so returned it to its box.

So too, we hail the youth who,
though he took his panga on the march,
perceived it odd within his fist
when there was neither scrub
nor firewood to be felled,
so laid it down.

An acclamation for the man who,
though he saw the woman running, clothing torn,
and though he lusted,
saw his mother in her youth,
restrained his colleagues
and withdrew.

We pay our homage to the man who,
though his heart was like a stone
and though he took a stone to cast,
could feel its hardness in the softness of his palm
and grasped the brittleness of bone,
so let it drop.

We laud the man who,
though he snatched to scrutinize
the passenger’s I.D.,
saw not the name – instead, the face –
and slid it back
as any friend might slide his hand to shake a friend’s.

And to the rest of us,
a blessing:
may you never have to be that man,
but if you have to,
BE!

Stephen Derwent Partington is a teacher and writer based near Machakos. He has previously published a poetry collection, SMS & Face to Face, in Kenya. His poetry and academic prose has appeared in various respectable publications, and he is at present a contributing member of the group, Concerned Kenyan Writers for Justice.

KENYA BURNING


Yesterdays bribe in the pocket or probably at Mama Pimas joint...the vote is cast..purple mark on your finger and that's it...but the tallying took 3days..the country was itching and scratching with discomfort..a twist in numbers and VOILA!!

True to the saying,the ruins of a nation begins in the homes of its people,neighbors turned against each other,violence erupted,shops(mark you owned by fellow citizens)were looted.Houses were robbed of both property and dignity-every corner of the once epitome of Africa was up in flames-KENYA WAS BURNING.

Friends went against the grail,hacking,maiming,destruction,anger,animosity,suspicion,stalemate,deadlock..these were the exact words to describe KENYA then;and now..orphans,widow(er)s,IDPs,grudge,mass graves,scars,destroyed infrastructure,a burnt church and a union of two parallel governments.
On Sunday,24th May 2009,I happened to visit the KENYA BURNING EXHIBITION...it was a picture event..n true a picture speaks a thousand words..The campaigns were full of galore and drama,the voting-expectations,the tallying-new and better beginnings..the Results-DEATHS.

Friends turned fiend..and anyone who didn't support you was blacklisted..while those whose images split the country into fractions watched the unfolding drama at a relatively safe haven.
Considering what has been documented and that which you witnessed or even experienced in those fateful days..am worried that little or nothing has been done to avert a possible repeat..a case of a recurring past and an uncertain future..


The darker the problem,the brighter the solution.

WHAT WE NEED IS A COVENANT BETWEEN TRIBES

*Mutahi Ngunyi

If Kenya collapses in 2012, it will be because of the Gema community. What is more: they will be the biggest losers. Bottomline: They have to climb down. But there is a corresponding thought for the Luo Nation.

The Luo invented politics. Now they have exported it to America. And, on this, I have a problem. Other nations are consuming their political genius, but we are not. The question is why? I have a hypothesis.

The Luo Nation is in bondage. For half a century now, it is enslaved by one family: the Odingas. A liberator from the ‘‘Lake’’ must arise. Then we will know that a new order is coming. And the same is true of the Kibaki wazees and the Gema bondage. Gema is a community of ‘‘slaves’’. Some are ‘‘slaves in labour’’; others are ‘‘slaves in attitude’’.

The Mungiki uprising is a crude rejection of this ‘‘slavery’’. But there is a Lowest Common Denominator between the Luo, Kalenjin, Kikuyu and Luhya ‘‘slaves’’. They are treated like the ‘‘Pavlovian dogs’’. Let me explain.

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian scientist, the son of a village priest. In 1870, he abandoned his religious career and went into science. His experiment on ‘‘drooling dogs’’ won him the Nobel Prize in 1904. In this experiment, he noticed that whenever a dog encountered food, saliva poured out of its mouth freely. But he wanted the dogs to drool without the food.

And so, he began a process of conditioning them. His first action was to give a lab coat to the person who fed them. With time, the dogs began to identify the lab coat with food. Each time they saw a lab coat, they dribbled with saliva although there was no food.

Then he went to the next level. He rang a bell during meal time. And with this, the dogs began to associate the bell with food. At the mere sound of the bell without the food, they responded by salivating. He had conditioned their reflexes to respond to what he wanted. And this is what the Odingas, the Kibaki wazees and other tribal chiefs have done to us.

Like Pavlov, they began with our need to eat. Now every Kenyan thinks that politics is about ‘‘eating’’. Their next concern was to cheat us; to make us drool without the food. When President Kibaki was sworn in at night, Gema’s saliva dribbled. When Raila Odinga became Prime Minister, the Luo Nation drooled.

And when Musalia Mudavadi became Deputy Prime Minister, the Luhya had saliva all over. But did this translate into food? Zero. It was just a Pavlovian ‘‘lab coat’’; an empty bell ringing. The question, therefore, is this: so what?

Yes we are ‘‘slaves’’, we are ‘‘Pavlovian dogs’’ and in bondage. If we are comfortable with this, why upset it? If the Luo Nation is happy with the Odinga bondage, and the Gema community ‘‘loves’’ the rich wazees, why change it? I have a hypothetical reason.

One, Kenya is at the ‘‘tipping point’’. This is the point at which the momentum for change is unstoppable. And we are here out of choice. Consider why. This month I worked from several African countries. Of these, Zimbabwe was the most depressing. Like Nigeria, they suffer from the ‘‘cowardice of nations’’. Their president is an incompetent, reckless bully. He stole an election. The people did nothing.

In our case, no one won. And the people said ‘‘No way!’’ If the Zimbabweans and Nigerians chose the ‘‘path of least resistance’’, we chose the ‘‘path of active resistance’’. We killed each other out of choice. Now we cannot get to the next level out of accident. It must be out of choice; deliberate, calibrated and with intentionality. And the starting point is ethnic re-engineering.
The Luo Nation must reject Raila Odinga; the Gema people must banish President Kibaki and his tired ‘‘wazees’’. If the tipping point is a place where the momentum for change is unstoppable, it must result in a ‘‘take-off’’ not a crash. But we will only take-off if we embrace the new and banish the old.

Two, we must upset the old because it has conditioned us to live a lie. Migingo Island was a lie. It was a diversion from the local crisis to a ‘‘non-issue’’. Similarly, the military intervention in Somalia is another lie.

In fact, to send our army to Somalia is foolhardy. George Bush Senior did it. And those pirates fixed his ‘‘soft bellied’’ soldiers. But we are also cheating ourselves. Take Mr Kenneth Marende for instance.

He makes a bogus ruling in Parliament and everyone wants to make him president. Then Uhuru Kenyatta reads a budget ‘‘nicely’’. And everyone forgave his ‘‘errors’’. The lie here is to scratch the surface and to ignore the deep intentions. Our liberation will be in interrogating intentions; searching for the truth!

My third reason goes back to Gema. The Gema community must upset things because they are not even real. In fact, there is no Gema community. It only comes alive when the rich wazees are threatened. Unfortunately, the Kibaki wazees have no respect for simple Kikuyus. They call them ‘‘tumundu’’, meaning ‘‘little inconsequential people’’.

And it is this false unity of purpose I am questioning. To save the country, therefore, this community must abandon the arrogant wazees. In the name of the community, they took the country to war. Now we must lay the blame on the wazees squarely. And when this happens, the process of making a ‘‘covenant of tribes’’ will begin.

Not a covenant between the rich, but one between the people who burnt the Eldoret church and the families of the dead. An understanding between the Mungiki killers and the slain victims of the Naivasha massacre. In sum, if we leave it to the politicians, they will collapse the country. If we have a covenant amongst ourselves, we might save it. Am I making sense?

YOU VOTE...YOUR VOICE

I personally think its surreal how we Kenyans are so bullied by authority,we turn against each other(post election violence,Mathira massacre)..we've even learnd to measure with exactitude what we can expect from a parliament whose paramount aim is to enrich themselves at our expense.
In Kenya,until we are left completely naked,we will defend the status quo of the 210+ people who've taken ownership of ths country;who will still come to our homes and take the very last cent as taxes to fund themselves in campaigns.But these days they hardly do ths work-a whole population of people-mostly th youths will defend them,make a velvet carpeting for them and ululate their throats dry for a loaf of bread.
In 2002,Kenyans vowed to make the state better,via our massive vote...instead we sold our country to a bunch of people who do not knw th price of milk(abt to hit 50) or care..but can sufficiently plant flowers on roundabouts and build one school with CDF.
The real money,our money,in now legislated ways,into the pockets of Mps..leaving us bone dry.
Altho we see Uhuru,Raila,Kalonzo and Kibaki as different people thyre infact cut from the same original cloth...who feel they have a royal right to rule..they battle thngs out wen we r watchn..but within themselves they have no problem..
So every 5years we troop off in a chilly morning to vote for one of then to inherit our assets.
My aim here is not to alienate but simply provoke conversation..we need to speak up against ths game of being shortchanged by our leaders..we/I feel obligd to work towards th end of ths era..and th way to do ths is to question our own hearts..such that in 2012 when u will b in that long line..ask yourself if its your voice speakin or someones cash that is..

YOUR VOTE=YOUR VOICE...let not th cash turn into a knife an cut off your lips.
Think about it.