Category Archives: Politics

Jubilee Student

Headmaster: Ah, Jubilee. There you are. I’ve been meaning to talk to you about your term project …

Jubilee (Smiling): Let me stop you right there headmaster. My commitment to my project is steadfast, unwavering and consistent. Ever since we began the semester I have always believed in the delivery and successful execution of my Vision

Headmaster: Indeed. But there’s the small matter of actual work  …

Jubilee (Standing upright): The importance of my project to me cannot be emphasized enough. Students before me have made lofty promises about their projects and failed to deliver. I however, stand head and shoulders on a firm foundation of sober leadership

Headmaster (Flustered): Yes, but I need to see actual progress on the project …

Jubilee: Many students have come before me and promised to hand in successful projects. I believe passionately in my potential, acumen and grit to deliver on my project. I am 100% committed

Headmaster: Er … yes, that’s right, but you see, I need to see …

Jubilee: A project is not something to be undertaken lightly. As I said at the beginning of the semester, the time for work is now

Headmaster: Yes …

Jubilee: Now! As you have seen in my preliminary pre-project draft, planning and execution is key

Headmaster: That’s true, but we are almost at the end of the semester and I haven’t seen …

Jubilee: Many a student when faced with such obstacles would undoubtedly bow to the pressures of responsibility. But I am pleased to affirm my continued and total commitment to my project

Headmaster (Desperately): But Jubilee, I need to actually see something …

Jubilee: I think you can agree that my communications strategy is top notch, delivering timely and continuous updates on my strategic tactical roadmap

Headmaster: Yes, but I also need to see actual …

Jubilee (Takes seat): Communication, headmaster, is paramount. I deeply urge you to appreciate the importance of timely, continuous and holistic communication

Headmaster (Grabbing top of head): Jubilee! Have you or have you not started on your project

Jubilee (Leans back): Headmaster you raise a relevant and poignant question. What is to start? Let me assure you headmaster, that my start is like no other start in the history of this school

Headmaster (Brusquely): So have you started or not? Where can I see …

Jubilee: A lesser student would be overwhelmed by the prospects of a project but not I. My unwavering commitment is second to none, and I believe you will be satisfied with my delivery

Headmaster (Loosening tie): Stop. Stop. Answer yes or no. Have you actually started your project

Jubilee (Smiling ingratiatingly): Sir! One of the lessons from this fine school is to refuse to confine myself in the pedestrian path of absolutes

Headmaster (Gritting teeth): Answer my question!

Jubilee (Looking surprised): Anyone who has known me and my methods can testify to my rigorous work ethic, passionate approach to responsibility and unflinching determination to do my duty

Headmaster (Grabs top of head): Dammit boy …

Jubilee: Sir, you look like you could use some quality quiet time.

Whither Amina?

From all accounts our Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Amina Mohammed, is an intelligent, articulate official, which normally tends to be an outlier in the typical African government.

And then I read this crock of shit obtuse diatribe of questionable substance cloaked in smoke and mirrors ostensibly penned by that lady where she denies corruption had any role to play in the Westgate fiasco.

Personally I refuse to believe this and find it more likely some acne spotted intern in the foreign ministry is the author of the piece.

Let us dissect the piece, shall we?

It was difficult to read Giles Foden’s article squarely blaming the attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi on alleged inadequacies of the Kenyan government and, as he puts it "rampant corruption" (Behind terror is corruption, 24 September).

Undoubtedly

The Kenyan military led the operation to free hostages and kill or capture those who had trapped them, and we are proud of the professionalism and determination of our forces.

True, but irrelevant. (Looting suspicious aside)

Foden says: "In Kenya crime and terrorism are deeply linked, not least by the failure of successive Kenyan governments to control either." And he continues: "These attacks are part of a spectrum of banditry, with corruption at one end, terrorism at the other, and regular robbery in the middle."

I can hear the muddy boots of the straw man argument coming up.

Make a brief comparison with other terrorist attacks. The disasters of 9/11 or the more recent Boston marathon in the US and 7/7 in the UK – both highly developed countries – could hardly be blamed on corruption, so why Kenya?

We do not recall Foden blaming corruption within the security agencies involved.

And there we go! Straw man argument!

Let me answer why Kenya, Ambassador.

Kenya has a distinguished reputation of corruption. Let me remind that good Lady that among the projects for Anglo Leasing where the funds where repatriated (ha ha) included

  1. Forensic laboratory
  2. Police communications
  3. Second generation passport scheme

It takes a particularly determined mind to fail to see the connection between appropriating the funds for those project’s, corruption, and the endemic failure that led to terrorists swaggering into Kenya with impunity.

For avoidance of all doubt, OF COURSE they are linked!

"A lot of money has gone into commercial property, and particularly the building of supermarkets. But without governance it all looks very shaky," says Foden.

I dunno why Foden said this either. Makes no sense in this context.

The country’s first truly free and fair multiparty election only took place in 2002, and since then the country has been transformed by a new constitution that gives power to all communities. Less than 10 years ago we introduced free primary education, now over a million children a year go to school.

The free and fair bit – perhaps.

Transformed by a new constitution? Nay. Chiefly because we follow only the bits that work for the affluent.

Free primary education may be true, revolutionary but is IRRELEVANT for this discussion.

Judicial reform, in some cases supported by international experts and donors – including the US and UK – has put the courts out of the political influence that once was common.

There can be only one response that our courts are not influenced politically, unlike before.

Anti-corruption campaigns by government and civil society, the requirement for open tenders for government contracts, and the development of a lively media, have transformed the country.

Accepting kudos for anti-corruption campaigns is like accepting kudos for the birth of quadruplets with the only evidence of your contribution being a well thumbed copy of The Joy Of Sex.

Campaigns are meaningless if corrupt people are not arrested, prosecuted and jailed. Quick, Ambassador, how many were arrested, prosecuted and jailed for Anglo Leasing? Education ministry funds misappropriation? TARDA?

Open tenders, eh? As they say on social media, LQTM.

This is not to say Kenya is perfect – far from it.

This is the first relevant and true admission made so far.

A multinational forensic investigation currently under way – including with British agents – will examine the tragedy and assess the government’s response to it. It shows the extent of our openness that we allow foreign security forces to share in an investigation we could probably manage ourselves.

Very mature to concede this, so soon after “we don’t need the West”

At the same time, we will strive to be as open as possible in our actions against al-Qaida and its regional ally al-Shabaab in the coming months, without compromising the security of our country and the safety of our military personnel.

Presumably she is referring to the multiplicity of social media accounts, some of which have been verified by Twitter, contributing a steady stream of feel good quotes and contradictions, my favorite being with the announcement of every terrorist killed, the count of dead terrorists dropped.

What I’d like to know is

  1. How many terrorists were there?
  2. Where are they now?
  3. Who lit the fire?
  4. How do mattresses bring down a 4 story building?
  5. How did the KDF get deployed?

It is important that there is responsible international reporting.

Undoubtedly.

In this age of budget cuts in the international media there are too few foreign journalists with expert experience of Africa living in and reporting from the continent.

True, but irrelevant.

Kenya suffered a terrible tragedy at Westgate. As information is released in the coming days and weeks, it is crucial – for the sake of the victims and the survivors – that reporting reflects the Kenya of today, and that we are judged by today’s reality, not memories of a Kenya past.

This sounds a lot like the Ruto-esque refrain, “Accept and move on”.

All I can do is bemoan the unfortunate truth that yet again the borg has struck.

Something seems to happen to good people the instant they are sworn in.

The Kenyan Armed Forces & You

Unless you are living under a rock, you know that the Kenya Defence Forces, in the form of the Kenyan Army was deployed to help contain the atrocious situation at Westgate.

As both a fan of history and military engagements, I have read a lot on armed forces throughout the ages, from the rudimentary mobs of yore to the sophisticated units we have today.

One thing that I believe personally is that it is a big deal whenever a standing army is deployed to deal with civilian and civilian matters.

There exists a civilian role, the Commander In Chief, who controls the army. This does not, and cannot mean that CiC can do as he likes with the army. There must be checks and measures and procedures to control this.

Consider the hardware that they air force, navy and army have in terms of weapons, munitions and vehicles. Consider also that the soldiers are trained to operate in a theatre where the mission is essentially to terminate enemy forces and infrastructure.

The KDF has been deployed a lot of late, most recently as an incursion into Somalia. Prior to that to contain matters in Tana River, Baragoi and to contain the Sabaot LDF at Mt Elgon.

Back to the matter at hand.

The KDF showed up at Westgate. Unannounced. The Cabinet Secretary in charge, to date, has not said a single word.

I am curious. How did they get there? Under what circumstances can the army be deployed? Who has the authority to deploy the army? What is the procedure?

For answers I turned to the KDF Act 2012 [PDF Link] that made for some interesting reading.  I will highlight the interesting bits.

Did you know that the KDF is bound to uphold the constitution with regards to freedoms and rights? Section 3

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Of interest is that diversity of people in equitable proportions is explicitly mentioned.

Also, in section 4, if you are an alleged spy, you are bound by the provisions and regulations of the KDF act.

Is it legal for the army to be deployed? Very much so. Section 8

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This means that the KDF can be deployed in conjunction with other bodies e.g. the police or on it’s own.

Note both are subject to the involvement of the national assembly.

When the KDF is deployed, certain things should happen.

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Has this happened yet? I dunno.

What does the Commander In Chief do anyway? Section 9

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Note the “command” bit.

Now much has been said about the powers of the Cabinet Secretary for Defence (or lack thereof) that has not been helped by the current office holder’s deafening silence.

A cursory reading of section 10 shows nothing could be further from the truth. The Cabinet Secretary for Defence is quite a powerful position

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Digest that my friends. That post is not cosmetic, contrary to popular belief and appearance.

Of special interest is section (d) that talks about “control and administration of the defence force as may be delegated by the president over the defence forces”.

If I understand that right, the President can delegate control of the army to the CS.

Of other interest is section (h). This report must make for some fascinating reading. If it is in fact submitted annually. I dunno.

So, so far the pecking order in CiC then the CS. Next in line is the Chief of the Defence Forces.

Section 12

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In other words section (c) says , Omamo is Karangi’s boss.

Much has been said about a mysterious body called the Defence Council. Section 19

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Note again the CS is not a trivial member of this body.

What does this council do? Section 20

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With regards to tenure, section 24 is pretty blunt

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Now, let us move on to co-operation with other authorities. Section 31

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Subsection (a) and (b) are pretty clear. Was (a) followed with regards to Westgate? We’ll get to that.

Much attention was given to the standoff over who was in charge between General Karangi and Inspector General Kimaiyo. Turns out the KDF act specifically mentions joint operations between the police and the KDF. Sections 33

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I draw your attention to sub section (3). Which says Kimaiyo was supposed to be in charge at Westgate.

Is there anything in the law that talks about governing the conduct and operations of the KDF while deployed within the territory? Of course. Section 34

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Subsection (1) is of interest. While supporting the police, the KDF must observe and protect human rights and freedoms of civilians. There is no carte blanche.

Subsection (2) and (3) also are of interest. Were they actually been executed?

Is there mention of the powers and duties of members while deployed? Of course! Section 35

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This has several interesting bits

Subsection (1) I understand to mean while supporting the police under the auspices of section (2) a soldier has all the powers of the police including arrest.

Subsection (5) I understand to mean a solider is bound by the same code of operations as a policeman and can be prosecuted for acting or failing to act in contravention of said code.

So, dear reader, I leave it to you. Under what circumstances do our armed forces keep being deployed? Is the law followed to the letter?

Cabinet Tales VI

Kibaki: Bloody bure! So, Raila, we’re going to that place, yes, that one, not the other one. That one. No, not THAT one. That one. To plant those things. With the trunks.
Raila: Elephants?
Kibaki: Yes. No. What was the question again?
Wekesa: To the Mau. To plant trees
Kibaki: Yes, that one
Raila: For shizzle my nizzle
Kibaki: (Sotto voice) Psyche!!!
Raila: (Suspiciously) What was that?
Kibaki: Pink elephants are riding my bicycle.
Mwakwere: Is the Mau in coast?
Ruto: Is this meeting catered? I want some roasted maize
Raila: What’s this about Al Faisal?
Kajwang: Way ahead of you there. We intend to deport him. We can’t just teleport him
Mwakwere: I can help you there. Jamaica is no in coast (is it?) but I know the country code 1-876
Kimunya: Err … therefore
Kenneth: You probably want to deport him to Libya.
Mwakwere: With a country code you can teleport anywhere in the world using any network. I thought everyone knew that?
[Stunned silence]
Mwiria: Anyway, moving on!
Kiraitu: Yes. It will be like raping a woman who is already wirring. Pff. Pffft. Grekkjjjwe! hHHerewr7688! ^&*
Charity: (Shouting) This is clearly in disorder. I mean not in order!
Kalonzo: Stop talking before me! Can’t you see I’m handsome?
Wetangula: People please. Now, Mwakwere, you and your ferries are a cause for concern-
Mwakwere: (Shouting) What do you mean me and my fairies? What have you heard?
Raila: (Holding head) He means those big boats that go chuff chuff chuff in the water
Mwakwere: Oh
Kibaki: Order gentlemen. The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria set off. Can we all be focused? Uranium 238.
Ongeri: If I may school my learned friends …
Kajwang: Has anyone noticed Ongeri has new shoes?
Ongeri: (Irritably) There is no connection between my new shoes and missing school funds!
Saitoti: Garment is firmly in control with the Al Faisal situation
Nyongo: Garment? Was a ministry of fabrics and attire created overnight? The word is government. GOVERNMENT
Saitoti: (Puzzled) But that’s what I said. Garment.
Nyong: Government
Saitoti: Garment
Nyongo: GOVERNMENT
Saitoti: Garment
Nyongo: Go-
Saitoti: Go-
Nyongo: ver-
Saitoti: ver-
Nyongo: ment
Saitoti: ment
Nyongo: Government
Saitoti: Garment
[Collective Groan]
Kalonzo: I hear Kijana Wamalwa’s brother wants to be President
Wetangula: (Standing) Yes. In fact so do I!
Kalonzo: (Modestly) But i am the most handsome here! And i even take care of my hair. Hilary Clinton wanted to copy my hairstyle but I said no.
Oburu: Treasury is getting tired of buying mirrors for the office of the vice president.
Kenneth: Some of us are diversifying our income by setting up a small business with green, green grass
Oburu: That is a lie. I never inhaled!
Mwakwere: Do people from coast inhale?
Michuki: I shall amend the law on pollution shortly to include you and Kalonzo!
[Esther Murigi walks in. A loud wolf whistle pierces the air]
Kalonzo: (Dashes to the nearest mike) I’mma let you finish but Kalonzo is one of the most handsome people of all time
Kibaki: Can we wrap this up? Wrestling is about to start on TV
Mwakwere: Are there TVs in coast?
Michuki: Some of you here are not taking the environment seriously. I’m informed reliably that Poghisio even has ducks in his swimming pool?
Pogishio: Is it a crime? I like ducks. They taste like chicken
Muthaura: On a point of order I would request all ministers to collect their lunch passes from the office on the mezzanine floor –
Ruto: Did someone say maize?
Kiunjuri: Let me remind Professor Ongeri we have not forgotten the plight of tishas …
Nyongo: Who?
Kiunjuri: Tishas
Kenneth: He means teachers I think
Kalonzo: (Singing) Got honey,
and you know it,
take it out of your pocket and eat it and eat it,
this way, and that way
Marende: Order! If a member is feeling sufficiently philanthropic to sing T-Pain tunelessly, let him notify the house
Kalonzo: But i’m handsome!
Haji: I’d like to challenge Saitoti to explain why Somalis are being harassed
Oburu: Why? Are you Somali?
Haji: (Indigantly) No! Of course not. Everyone knows I’m right handed
Wekesa: Has anyone seen my strawberr? I placed a call a few minutes ago and I can’t find it
Kenneth: You mean blackberry?
Wekesa: No. My phone is not one of those ripoffs. It’s a Strawberry. I bought it after the Samsing was stolen
Alfred Mutua: I … er … have some VCDs i’m selling in the car if anyone is interested?
Odinga: Brilliant. Do you have Lion King?
Alfred Mutua: Er … that’s not quite what i have. I was thinking more local content …
Kibaki: Professional View? News?
Alfred Mutua: Er … even more local … er … more like local … er … talent … ha ha … er … loal performers engaged in … er … performances
Mwakwere: (Quickly) Do you take MPesa?

PIC OF THE DAY

OLD GOLD

Moving On

[EDIT 20:21]

“Moving on” is a phrase I’ve heard bandied about a lot of late.

It irritates me as much today as it did the first time I heard it, cleverly slipstreamed into conversation around the imbroglio we as Kenyans find ourselves in.

You hear it used like this:

We need to move on as a country and go about our business.

Or like this:

Yes, the process was flawed. But we need to move on.

Or like this:

So Kibaki appointed a cabinet before the coalition talks. The country needs to function. We need to move on.

Excuse me, but “moving on” is about the most absurd thing we can do now. Patently so.

500+ people have been killed. 300,000+ have been displaced. Businesses and homes have been destroyed. Friends have turned against friends. People have been chased from their homes in the middle of the night. People have lost everything. Some people have lost everyone.

In light of the above I am of the opinion that NO, we FUCKING CANNOT MOVE ON!

The wisdom in “Moving on” is  questionable indeed. Are we to forget the dead, the burnt, the destroyed, the shearing of Kenyan society as we know it? Are we naive enough to believe if we don’t address the causes that led to this situation they will pack up like good little boys and bid us adieu?

“Moving on” is precisely what got us into the situation we are in today. For 44 years we have been moving on, paying scant attention to the underlying problems that have befallen us, in the fond belief that “we are a peaceful people” and “Kenya is an island of peace and stability”. We moved on in the face of disparities of education, opportunities, wealth, camaraderie and class.

I would not be in the least bit surprised to hear some of the political elite, upon hearing that Kenyans are going hungry, wondering, like a woman not too long ago who lost her head, why they “didn’t eat cake”.

Moving on will only ensure that come 2012 we will be writing blog posts and newspaper articles precisely like the ones we have been doing the past fortnight. Moving on will just give another set of us the opportunity to be “shocked and saddened” that this happened on our land. Moving on will just ensure that our children (if we survive to sire them) will merrily and ignorantly make the same mistakes we did.

Have we learnt nothing from the past 2 weeks?

Indeed, stupidity is doing the same thing twice and expecting the same results.

We need to find out the reason our country exploded and take steps to correct them, so that our future generations will be spared what we have gone through. We need to find out what the problem is now, and address it decisively. Before we get peace, we must have justice.

So no, dammit, we FUCKING CANNOT MOVE ON! 44 years ought to have shown by now that moving on doesn’t bloody work!!!

Oh, and for those of limited imagination, let me remove all ambiguity. Justice does not mean throwing stones and destruction and violence!

By saying we can’t just move on I am not saying we should not go back to work and get on with our lives. I’m not saying you stay home and await developments! Au contraire! What I am saying is that we cannot go back to the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil business as usual that we have been at for the last 44 years.

It’s not Kibaki and Raila throwing stones and wielding pangas and burning houses. It’s me and you. I am not naive enough to believe that the sight of Raila and Kibaki shaking hands and hugging will magically stop the fighting and people can move back to their homes from which they were chased. Because that is not about to happen.

Working and going about our business as usual will not address the issue of why friends have butchered friends. And until we find out exactly what circumstances led to that and correct it TODAY we shall be reliving this experience perpetually.

Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Life as usual is not an option.

AOB

Alfred Mutua, our resident Oompa Loompa, always manages to take my breath away with his effortless ability to introduce rocking chairs into a room full of blind cats. Every time the grinning Proudfoot Hobbit has his earnest face behind a camera, the osmotic pressure of the external environment causes his grey and white matter to seep from the areas of high concentration within his cranium, leaving behind doesn’t matter.

It takes an exceptional type of foolishness to say the following with a straight face while 400 of your fellows have been killed

“They [Kufuor and Kibaki] are age-mates and friends and Kufuor is coming to have a cup of tea with him,” Mutua said.

Bloody hell. Kufuor flew all those miles for a cup of tea. Villages looking for that special member of their community can contact me

Kenya Is Burning. Stop The Fighting!

Vote Of Thanks

Many thanks to everyone sending all those emails and text of concern. I am alive and well and taking good care of myself. I am a bit flooded with emails but am doing my best to respond to everyone.

Special thanks to all those sending in news and information. Special thanks to WathiiFM for updates from the Buru Buru area and first class pictures

Housekeeping

I fondly believe that most of my readership are adults of sound mind with a modicum of maturity. In case you are not, allow me to tell you this. This is not a site to propagate hate and rumours. I have spent more time than I should moderating obtuse comments. I am tired of that. I have many other things to worry about. Henceforth if you post something even remotely advocating hate or violence not only will I delete it, I shall blacklist you from ever visiting my blog again. I shit you not. If you think this is a convenient avenue for your hate, think again. I have no time for your nonsense. We want solutions, not more problems.

My connection is not the most stable so henceforth I shall be uploading a huge combined post whenever I can.

News Update

  • Official death toll is now 300. Unofficial death toll is much larger
  • Yesterday there were skirmishes in Bahati, Maringo, Kangemi, Arwings Kodhek, Industrial Area and Thika Road
  • A man was killed on Thika Road when police fired in the air, severing an electrical cable that fell on him
  • ODM rally was moved to Saturday
  • At long last Mwai Kibaki addressed the nation in a lackluster speech long on hot air, ambiguity, vagueness and lethargy and short of concrete solutions
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu arrived and met with the ODM leadership. The grapevine has it that Kibaki initially refused to meet with him. Subsequently it turned out that a meeting was indeed scheduled for this day.
  • Again proving that no matter how low the bar is, stupidity will always find a way to slither under, Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua, rose eyed lens firmly on, castigates the international community for interfering.
  • Flies on the wall allege that Kibaki himself is pretty amenable to negotiation. But as is the hallmark of his regime other elements in his administration are taking hardline positions.
  • Same flies say that Kibaki is willing to form a coalition government with the opposition. This I have to see to believe. 
  • Nairobi water company allays fears that the city water supply is poisoned.

Kibaki’s Speech Highlights

  • He is deeply concerned
  • He condemns the violence
  • Kenya is a peaceful country (Is it now?)
  • Justice abounds in Kenya. No one has ever been denied justice
  • He too, just like other Kenyans, was made aware that he was won in that same press briefing of the ECK
  • He has followed the law all the while and will continue to
  • Anyone with problems with the outcome should take it up with the court
  • He would seek solutions once the situation calms down. (WTF?!! People are dying while you wait!)
  • He had no time for journalists’ questions. If they had any they should come tomorrow. (People will be dying while we await for you to be comfortable with questions)

State House

Earlier today I drove past State House. A continuous flag like the one that is put on public holidays is very much in evidence. I took some very illegal pictures juggling camera and car. It is no idle rumour that the security personnel there are overzealous. A friend of mine once stopped outside one of the far flung entrances and within minutes a truncheon was being bounced off his amazed skull.

Personally I would take down that flag. It can be construed as a celebration of Kibaki’s new term. I don’t think there is anything to celebrate.

Here are the pics (Quality is not the beast because I was driving and some were taken through windscreen)

State1 
Road heading towards State House, adjacent to the grounds

State2
The State House Junction

State3
Approaching the main gate

State4
The main gate

The Rally

I’ve been roving here and there to capture developments on the ground just after the skirmishes took place. The pictures are sobering indeed. My heart breaks when I photograph what some Kenyans have done to others. Scarred indeed are our weary souls.

The following set is from a looted Coca Cola distributor on Arwings Kodhek. I spoke to the proprietor and the owners of the adjacent stalls. The angry mob repulsed by the police in Hurlingham wreaked havoc. The vendors lost their fruits and vegetables. Hooligans would bite a mango and throw the rest at cars, buildings, etc.

At the depot they broke bottles from some 300 or so crates.

Rally1
A destroyed adjacent vegetable stall. They ate the fruits and took or destroyed the vegetables

Rally2
Another looted vegetable stall

Rally13
A torched stall

Rally4
Broken glass on the road

Rally5
A closer view of the glass. They broke 300 crates

Rally6
Pile of shattered glass

Rally8
A closer view

Rally9
A still closer view

Rally11
The distributor

Rally12
Attempts to recover

 Rally7
Uprooted bus stop

The following set is from the Engen Petrol station further down the road

Rally14
The empty parking bay

Rally15
The looted quick shop

Rally16
The broken door through which they entered

Rally17 
Thrown stones litter the parking

Rally18
Entrance to the adjacent restaurant

Rally19 
Windows of the restaurant

Rally32
An ignored plea in the restaurant window

Kenya Burns

I weep.

Riots1
Rioters burn tyres behind a locked gate

I need not tell you that as I write this our country is on fire. Flames stoked by the ineptitude of the current regime and outright tribal polarization by politicians have finally exploded in a shocking turn of violence and destruction. Neighbours are turning against each other. People are suddenly afraid.

Riots2
The rowdy mob makes its presence felt

Myself included. As I was driving to visit the missus who lives in an area that happens predominantly of a single community I wondered what exactly I would do if I was stopped by a mob and asked to identify myself. One of the names given to me by my folks happens to be Luo, and it is proudly there on my ID. The fact that I am not actually Luo would not help be because assumptions would probably be made on the strength of my ID, as is happening in many places in Nairobi, let alone Kenya. I have two friends in hospital who has “the wrong names” on their IDs.

Riots3
An unfortunate is arrested

However I refused to succumb to this situation. I refuse to be a victim of the greed of the political elite.

Riots4
GSU personnel run after a mob

The fact of the matter is that the political elite is very comfortable in their homes. I drove by State House this morning and not only is the road clean and uncluttered, there are flags all over presumably to celebrate the Kibaki victory. Unlike my hood where there is debris and ashes and broken glass and stones all over.

Riots5
A GSU office reloads with tear gas

Our politicians are not suffering. They have running water. Milk, eggs, bread, meat and even cake are delivered to their doorsteps.

Riots6
Reloading

It is me and you, my friends, who risk being beaten up by mobs and shot by the police as we look for milk and bread for us and our own.

Riots7
A GSU officer ready for anything

The political elite are enjoying cartoons and soap operas and football on their DSTV and GTV. It is only me and you who are watching KTN and K24 and Al Jazeera and NTV to see the carnage being visited on our country. (KBC is not a serious news station. They’ve been showing cartoons and comedy clips as the country disintegrates)

Riots8 
Fully reloaded the GSU set off after rowdy mobs

The political elite sleep soundly in the peace and quiet Kitusuru and Thigiri and Riverside. It is us unfortunates who have our sleep interrupted by screams and shouts and gunshots.

Riots9
The press in the thick of things

The political elite have access to fist class air tickets to fly out of the country. It is me and you who have nowhere to run to. If Somalis and Rwandas and Ugandans and Sudanese flee here, where o where are we to flee to?

Riots10 
Still reloading

And while our brothers and sisters and cousins and nephews and nieces are dying, pseudo-leaders wallowing in crass stupidity appear on TV to grandstand, blaming the chaos on each other.

Listen, nitwits. We are not interested in your grandstanding and finger pointing. We want solutions. Alfred Mutua, we have no time for your foolishness Kenyans are dying. We need all the help we can get to contain this situation. Accusing the international community of interference is nothing short of obtusely crass stupidity. This is not an episode of your half baked pesudo-thriller Cobra Squad! This is real life!!!

Riots11
The GSU at work

We’ve had enough of nonsense press statements from comfortable hotels and the State House lawn. Come and make those inane gestures from Kibera or Mukuru or Thika Road or Kangemi. I dare you. Come down like me and other Kenyans who have no security detail and do your grandstanding!

What Should Be Done?

  • Every politician and their offspring should have their visas canceled and should be denied new ones. Let you and your children experience the Kenya that you created! Let your children come back from the US and Australia and Canada and England and live with the consequences of what Mama and Papa created like the rest of us!
  • The grandstanding between the government and ODM should stop. We are not interested in your foolish finger pointing games. It is we, not you, who are suffering. Shut your mouths and give us solutions, not problems. The media (local and international) should give the ilk of Alfred Mutua a total blackout.
  • Kibaki and Odinga should visit the affected areas and make their statements for there. If they are so sure they are right then there should be no problem in facing your people.
  • PNU and ODM must negotiate without pre-conditions. This is no longer about you.
  • This is not merely a matter of getting peace. We need to treat the disease, as well as the symptoms. The disease is justice, or lack thereof. If we don’t sort out this root cause then the violence will just flare up again later.
  • Recounting the votes and re-checking the tallies I fear is no longer an option. It would seem that some form 16As have been conveniently stolen from the safe in which they were stored. Presumably ballot boxes are being stuffed with votes as we speak.

The ideal solution I would think, would be along the following

  • Kibaki and Odinga agree to a government of National Unity, with the former as president and the latter as vice president. The cabinet would then be split between PNU and ODM
  • In 6 or so months, fresh elections to be held
  • Neither Odinga nor Kibaki should offer themselves for election. They are even more polarizing than they were before. We need a completely new shift in governance. Those political fossils still in power need to go before they sink us all
  • The election should be overseen by an imported Electoral Commission. I would not trust the ECK to hit the water if it fell out of a boat
  • Usage should be made of all the TV footage and camera pictures. Neigbourhoods and communities should be called upon to identify the murderous and destructive fools that have been the instruments of destruction. They should be dealt with ruthlessly once identified.

As with most ideal solutions this one has a fatal flow. Neither Kibaki nor Odinga have demonstrated putting the welfare of the nation above their own.

What can we do?

Stop the fighting.

Go into your hood and talk to people. If you’re waiting for someone else to do it you’re part of the problem. You have youth groups and fellowships and estate committees and outreach programs and tuition groups. Go and talk to them. Go into the community and preach peace.

People in the slums do not have TV to watch the televised campaigns. The most powerful voice is yours. The people know you and they probably trust you so they’ll listen to you.

If I do that and you do that and the people you talk to do the same pretty soon we’ll have covered this country.

Stop the fighting. Why are we losing our lives while the elite, who don’t care, are comfortable?

Show them they no longer have power over us. Show them that they work for us, not us for them.

Show then their days of lording over us and using us as cannon fodder are over.

Stop the fighting.

Stop the fighting.

Stop the fighting.