Thursday, August 11, 2005

Is The Pharmacist Determined To Sink With the Economist?

Vote for Your Favourite Black Blog!


( Click here to listen to August 10th edition of the DUNIA SHOW featuring a tribute to the late great Sonero and Bolero singer from Cuba-

Ibrahim Ferrer, a member of the celebrated Buena Vista Social Club who passed away on August 6, 2005 and a conversation with Dr. Eunice Njeri Sahle who teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.)

Onyango Oloo Examines Kibaki's Long Term Survival Options


1.0. Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You...A Movie Shot in Kibera

"When John le Carré wrote the story, the story's seen through a British point of view," Meirelles said in an interview in June. "And I think when I read the story, I put myself on the Kenyan side because, really, I come from Brazil."

Among other things, Meirelles wrote several new African characters into the story, not all of whom survived the cutting process. What does remain is a remarkable sense of place: a vivid evocation of the Kenyan landscape and cityscape in one of Nairobi's most down-and-out neighborhoods and tracking shots of Kibera, Nairobi's sprawling, tin-roofed shantytown, which are as enthralling as they are disturbing.

"As you know, there's a lot of slums in Brazil," Meirelles said. "But compared to the slums in Kenya, the Brazilian ones are really Beverly Hills."

In Kenya, he said, "They don't have water, they don't have electricity, they don't have cement - it's all dirt. And they cook with fire. Can you imagine? A million people living there and everyone cooking with fire in the middle of the city? It's the poorest place I've ever seen in my life."

Fernando Meirelles Brazilian Director,talking about the making of the up coming Constant Gardener opening in theatres August 26th 2005, R, 129mins, F;Cast: ;Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston,Pete Posthelwaite, John Keogh, Hubert Koundé, Richard McCabe, Gerard McSorley, Sidede Onyulo, Donald Sumpter, Archie Panjubi, Daniele Harford, Anneke Kim Sarnau, Eva Plackner
Director: Fernando Meirelles; Writers: Jeffrey Caine, John Le Carré

Dear KDP Blog Ogler:

Wataka kutizama tela? Do you wanna see a trailer of The Constant Gardener?

Well, here is your big chance.

Click here if you have Quick Time;

Try this site as well; and if you have a yahoo account you may have seen,and once again ignored this other link...

The flick is based on

John le Carré's novel of the same name.

Here is the Plot of The Constant Gardener:

Based on the best-selling John le Carré novel and from the Academy Award-nominated director of "City of God." In a remote area of Northern Kenya, the region’s most dedicated activist, the brilliant and passionate Tessa Quayle (Rachel Weisz), has been found brutally murdered. Tessa’s traveling companion, a local doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Sandy Woodrow (Danny Huston), Sir Bernard Pellegrin (Bill Nighy) and the other members of the British High Commission assume that Tessa’s widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), will leave the matter to their discretion. They could not be more wrong.

This career diplomat’s equilibrium has been exploded by the loss of the woman he was deeply devoted to. They were opposites whose attraction sustained a marriage, the memories of which now spur Justin to take decisive action for the first time in his life and diplomatic career. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumors of his wife’s infidelities, Justin surprises himself by plunging headlong into a dangerous odyssey. Determined to clear his wife’s name and “finish what she started,” Justin embarks on a crash course to learn about the pharmaceutical industry, whose crimes Tessa was on the verge of uncovering, and journeys across two continents in search of the trust. His eyes are soon opened to a vast conspiracy at once deadly and commonplace, one that has claimed innocent lives – and is about to put his own at risk.


2.0.Malaria Parasites Make You Smell More Attractive to Mosquitoes!

Here is a preview of an article by Zeeya Merali that will be appearing in the 13th August 2005 issue of New Scientist(#2512) titled, "Mosquitoes attracted by the smell of malaria":

Malarial parasites actually make their human hosts smell more attractive to mosquitoes when the parasites are ready to be transmitted

WHY do mosquitoes prefer to bite some people more than others? The answer to this irritating question may finally be on the horizon, at least for people infected with malaria.

Researchers have discovered that malarial parasites actually make their human hosts smell more attractive to mosquitoes when the parasites are ready to be transmitted, although it's not yet clear how they do it.

"The malarial parasite manipulates the transmission from within," says Jacob Koella from the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, who carried out the study in Kenya.

Koella placed three tents around a chamber of uninfected mosquitoes. In one tent he placed a child with transmissible malaria, in the next a child in the non-transmittable stage, and in the third a child without malaria. He then wafted the odour from the three children towards to the mosquitoes using a fan. After repeating the experiment with 12 ...

If you want to read the rest of the article go to site and cough up US$ 4.95 or you can simply click here and read the same story from another magazine for absolutely nada!
3.0.Your Cucu Could Be Yakking to You from a Loitoktok PC Wiki Ijayo...

George Obulutsa, reporting from Nairobi for Reuters informs us that:

Kenya's telecoms regulator on Wednesday said it would this week permit telecoms operators to provide call services over the Internet, in order to lower high phone costs and expand telephone services to the rural areas.

Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) Director-General John Waweru said the regulator will place a notice in Kenya's official publication on Friday allowing licensed Internet service providers to transmit phone calls using the Internet - or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

"As a further step toward liberalization, the commission has introduced the provision of Voice over Internet Protocol," Waweru told reporters at a news conference. "We expect that the introduction of VoIP is going to increase the teledensity, particularly in the rural areas."

The regulator said that the notice would give guidelines to licensed service providers on how to run the Internet calls.

The new service would also reduce calling costs locally and internationally, but that would depend on how the companies involved adopt it, Waweru said.
Read more here...

Possible beneficiaries?


How about

these fellows?

4.0.Why is Kiwi Televisheni All A-Ga-Ga Over a Sheria Passed in Our Bunge Jana?

This is part of the headline news in

New Zealand believe it or not:

"Kenya passes new privatisation law

Aug 11, 2005

Kenya's parliament passed a new law aimed at speeding up its long-delayed privatisation programme, a key condition demanded by donors.

The Privatisation Bill 2005 and a procurement law, passed last week, were demanded by donors who say the two laws would help to curb corruption in the government.

"We have passed all the major legislation requested by the donors. I can say that this was the last hurdle," Mutua Katuku, Kenya's deputy finance minister told Reuters.

The new law aims enhance the transparency in the privatisation programme and speed up the process which has been static since the new government of President Mwai Kibaki took power in 2002.

Privatisation was dogged with accusations of corruption under former President Daniel arap Moi, with influential politicians and top government officials accused of selling companies cheaply to their friends and cronies.

The corruption allegations and pressure from Kenyans and trade unions worried of job losses and ceding of national assets to foreigners prompted Kibaki's government to be more cautious.

Members of parliament urged the government not to rush the privatisation because a new law had been passed.

"We should be cautious not to sell our heritage to foreigners, because ordinary Kenyans cannot afford to purchase shares in those firms. We should privitise for ourselves not for donors," said James Magara, an opposition MP.

Kenya's Finance Minister David Mwiraria assured legislators that the government would be selective in the process.

"This will not be a blanket privitisation of everything the government has interests in," Mwiraria said.

"We will ensure firms providing essential services such as the Kenya Airports Authority and the Kenya Power and Lighting Company will only be partially privitised, because the government must keep control over such essential services."

Kenya has so far balked at selling large strategic firms, but has lined up the fixed line telephone company Telkom Kenya, the state run electricity generating company Kengen and the National Bank of Kenya for privatisation soon.

Donors have welcomed the passage of the public procurement bill which is now awaiting presidential assent.

Public procurement has been one of the biggest sources of graft in Kenya, with senior government officials and politicians often set up their own firms to win tenders at hugely inflated costs or help cronies in return for kickbacks.

5.0.Changing of the Guard Spurred By Stinky Chopper Deal?


Saying Hellos & Goodbyes:

Anything to do with:


Should We Chokora Chokora Denel Aviation A Little Bit?
7.0.In His Own Words, My Former Wakili

"War against corruption has lost its momentum"

By Kiraitu Murungi

"Distinguished colleagues, it is my greatest pleasure to welcome you all to this special forum, which brings together all the key anti-corruption agencies in Kenya.

We have come here to reflect and take stock of what we have been doing, since the NARC Government came into power two and a half years ago. We have also come here to decide what practical steps we are going to take together into the future.

As Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, my role is to ensure that appropriate laws, policies and institutions for fighting corruption are created and to facilitate them to work effectively. The first two years were spent in passing the necessary anti-corruption legislation (the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003, and the Public Officer Ethics Act 2004), setting up commissions for dealing with past corruption (Goldenberg Commission, the Ndungu Commission, Harambee Task Force, Kroll Investigations and Reforming the Judiciary), and establishing anticorruption institutions (KACC, and NAC).

In January this year, I declared the year 2005 to be the Year of Action. We promised more arrests, more prosecutions and more asset recoveries this year. As I speak here today, the war against corruption in Kenya is at crossroads. Eight months down the road very little seems to be happening. The fight against corruption has lost momentum. Kenyans have become skeptical. Even cases like Goldenberg have been forgotten. They are disillusioned. Our strategy is being dismissed as a mere pretence. It is said to be a talk and talk and do nothing strategy. Our meetings are seen as a pretext for doing nothing. The old networks of corruption have not been broken. They have become very bold. They are no longer afraid of our talk about corruption. They believe that nothing will happen to them.

There is talk of bribery, embezzlement, fraud, extortion, nepotism, buying of votes, abuse of power, conflict of interest, judicial corruption and misappropriation of public funds everyday. Kenyans are tired of reporting corruption, yet nothing happens. The impunity of yesterday persists. There has been very little change in the mentality, attitude and behaviour of our civil servants. Past corruption networks still persist in the registries and all procurement departments. We must destroy these networks without mercy. We must be ruthless.

We have a serious challenge before us. The Narc Government risks being captured by the commercial interests and administrative machinery of the Moi regime. The time for us to turn the tide is now! It is now or never! We have to take a firm, determined and decisive action now! H.E. President Mwai Kibaki has declared that there are no sacred cows. He is personally leading this fight. It is a war we must win. We cannot win this war without a plan. I am happy that we shall soon be launching the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan.

As we wait for the plan, we have to keep our troops ready. The purpose of this workshop is to review our state of preparedness. It is to develop a clear understanding of our roles and responsibilities, and to develop a clear common vision of where we are going.

The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) is the primary body dedicated to the fight against corruption. It is mandated to undertake corruption — prevention measures, conduct investigate on corruption and economic crimes and educate the public on the evils of corruption.

It has a full time secretariat with specialists in various relevant areas. In performing its duties it relies on the Attorney-General’s Office to prosecute the cases it has investigated and on the judiciary to decide those cases.

Thus successful prosecution of corrupt officials would depend on an effective KACC, Department of Public Prosecutions and Anti-Corruption Courts. KACC also has to rely on the police/CID because the staff at KACC cannot cover the whole country. The Kenya National Audit Office (KNAO) audits public expenditure and determines whether public funds have been properly used by the responsible Government institutions including, ministries, state corporations and independent bodies. The report of the KNAO is used by the Parliamentary watch dog committee Public Accounts Committee and Public Investments Committee to exercise oversight on government expenditure and hold the Government accountable (on behalf of the public through Parliament).

The National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NAC) is mandated to conduct a national campaign against corruption. This is a mass public awareness campaign similar to the one conducted against HIV/Aids by the National AIDS Control Council. The Steering Committee brings together representatives of civil society organizations and religious organizations with a national grassroots presence. It is expected that the campaign will tap into the Steering Committee will be contracted out to mass communication organizations in both the civil society and the private sector.

There has been some concern that the mandate of the NACSC overlaps with that of KACC which also has a mandate to educate the public. The computerization of the campaign however does not anticipate any overlap. My understanding is that KACC is best suited to undertake sectoral or targeted public education rather than mass public awareness. Mass public awareness requires substantial grassroots infrastructure. This role is better suited for the organizations that have as their core business the interaction with the public such as civil society, religious organizations and educational institutions. The roles of KACC and NAC should be seen as complementary.

The idea that the mandate for education can be exclusive to any one body is incorrect. Anti-corruption education is conducted daily by civil society organizations, religious organizations, schools, provincial administration e.t.c. Anti-corruption education should be the responsibility of all able Kenyans and institutions. KACC and NASC are merely spearheading the effort for the Government.

The Efficiency Monitoring Unit (EMU) is another important internal audit/accountability mechanism. Through its work and that of the Inspectorate of State Corporations, the Government is able to track the management of public resources and check on integrity issues on a regular basis. The EMU has been analysing compliance with the Public Officer Ethics Act especially on asset declarations. Its report will inform reform initiatives to enhance the effectiveness of the legislation especially with regard to declaration of assets.

Clearly all these institutions have important roles to play and functions to perform. We all have a serious challenge of delivery. Let us not waste our energies fighting each other and creating unnecessary boundaries.

We have an amazing opportunity to create a new Kenya, which will provide enough food, shelter, clean water, medicine, education and prosperity for our people. Time is not on our side. Let us reinvent ourselves, wake up those around us, and move on."

The Writer is the Kenyan Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. He spoke at the consultative Forum for Anticorruption Agencies

"Kwani, Umekula Mbuzi Ya Nani???!!"

"Sir Edward Clay has just behaved as an enemy of this government ... What he is saying is not very new; a lot of corruption ... took place during the previous regime. We did not get a word about it from the British high commission."
Kiraitu Murungi, justice minister, February 2005

8.0. Has President Kibaki Out-Foxed "Them All"?

I was intrigued by an opinion piece put out a couple of days ago by Sunday Nation's Managing Editor, Macharia Gaitho. The article, entitled, "How Kibaki Has Out-Foxed Them All"glows with approval for the President's apparent guile and shrewdness:

"...It seems President Mwai Kibaki has been doing a lot of reading lately. One can imagine him spending time in the State House library catching up on tomes that President Moi left behind.He will have caught up on Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince, and Sun Tzu's The Art of War, and other material that his predecessor lived by. He might also have come across and avidly studied any notes Moi left behind on his own imitable style of politics. Moi's manuscript would probably be entitled "How to Buy Friends and Influence People".It is clear now that President Kibaki did not rise to his exalted position by sitting back and waiting for good fortune to fall onto his lap.The man is as crafty as they come, and he is also blessed with a virtue lacking in most politicians - patience.Little has demonstrated President Kibaki's political skills since he took the reins of power than events of the last couple of weeks starting with that Nyanza trip.He had some of his fiercest critics eating out of his hand. And on conclusion, he announced the release of a handsome sum for development projects for the region that revealed he understands a little bit of good old-fashioned pork-barrel style of politics.It was other matters, though, that really revealed President Kibaki's political acumen. His own supporters were grumbling that he was bestowing favours on those he should be punishing. They made the mistake of couching their complaints in terms suggesting that the President should shun certain parts of the country.The President told off his own men with devastating effect. I am persuaded that he had a hand in leaking to the media details of the conversation that took place when he hosted the grumbling politicians for lunch.In one moment, a president often criticised as insular and only comfortable when surrounded by old central Kenya cronies, was instantly redefined as a nationalist who has no time for petty ethnic politics..."

Perhaps Mr.Gaitho is right.

I happen to have an alternative analysis.

Our head of state is certainly no intellectual slouch and has been in the maelstrom of mainstream Kenyan siasa since the beginning of the sixties. He knows his allies and adversaries inside out.

However, I do not think that the recent forays into Nyanza; the rebuff of the NAK-KANU like loyalists, the reaching out across the ethnic and regional divides and yesterday's shakeup of the military top brass is "evidence" of a

Niccolo Machiavelli in our midst.

What I sense is a quiet desperation on the part of the

Kibaki-NAK faction of the ruling

National Rainbow Coalition.

It is my understanding that the Murungaru Affair goes beyond the UK and in fact, may or may not include other countries where Kenyans abroad reside, study or work in. I am being told that the Transport minister can afford to be so cocky in his public utterances because he knows that whatever contagion the British may wanna pin on Murungaru will be so muddy as to include some relatives of the President, and even perhaps, Kibaki himself-that is why he is calling on the British to table what they have on him and also the reason why there have been conflicting statements about the air travel ban affecting the former Internal Security chief.

One of my sources suggested that I owe former Director of Public Prosections,

Philip Murgor, a half-apology for my somewhat harsh letter from a few months ago, because I am now being reminded, he was, apparently right on the trail of the real masterminds behind the large drug cache that was impounded by the Kenyan government not too long ago. This source is convinced that Murgor is telling the truth when he reveals that powerful people in the NARC government had him fired in order to cover up the duplicity of the shameless "anti-drug crusaders" who, it now turns out, were actually the drug dealers all along.

This source offers a simple explanation:

Security forces close to a certain minister listed as a Kibaki insider simply took over the illegal distribution of the cocaine instead of guarding over the vast cache. They suggest that the Kenyan public demands proof of all the physical evidence. What is sinister in this scenario is the reason for the disappearance and sale of the street drugs:

Allegedly to bankoll the emergence of a new private militia to protect this newly emergent drug linked POLITICAL elite, not in Sudan, but in Kenya.

The source cryptically suggests that questions be asked why it was necessary for a certain govenment minister to fly almost solo in a certain government plane under very dubious conditions? They supply their own ready answer-said waziriis allegedly a gun runner and drug dealer reporting DIRECTLY and acting expressly at the behest of President Mwai Kibaki .

Now Kenyan rumour mills and wild stories hardly come as vivid and torrid as the current one and often the recipient of the story performs euthanasia on a yarn spun out of control by immediately squelching it.

The problem with the persistent allegation about corruption in high places in Kenya has to do with the crude and amateurish methods with which some of Kibaki's top lieutenants have wished to pile up overnight wealth- from the crude waivers that the Ndwigas received from the Mwirarias to the crude conflict of interest embarassing give aways involving the Kiraitus and the Ringeras and Kamau Kurias . Separating salacious rumour from concrete facts has been made more difficult by a Kenyan head of state who rushes to the defence of embattled ministers accused of grand graft asking cynically whose goat was ever gobbled by whichever fat cat was under scene at that particular moment.

The purveyors of the above scenario therefore paint Kibaki as being pushed to a very tight corner- the British have evidence linking up to 5 of his own cabinet ministers with concrete instances of serious corruption; these same ministers under the cloud of suspicion are secretly chortling, daring the President either to fire them, or the British to go public with their allegations which would, according to this source, taint the President in a very very sordid way. This source repeats the 2004 widely held belief that among the shady shareholders of Anglo Leasing are at least two prominent cabinet ministers, at least one of the offspring of the head of state and thirtysomething, forty something scions of some of Kenya's most prominent comprador bourgeois families.

Can Kibaki move forward with his long term 2007 re-election agenda without jettisoning the chief andu aitu architects of that power grab plan?

Can Kibaki restore his international credibility and clean up his government without the danger of internal blackmail from wily lieutenants who made sure they implicated the Prezido from the word go- like getting so and so to be the "business consultants" who went to seek biashara in Colonel Muamar Ghadafi's backyard sometime in 2003, 2004?

To what extent is Mwai Kibaki himself involved in corruption?

To what extent has inner cabinet taken advantage of his long period of ill-health from early 2003 to do things not only in his name, but with his stolen stamp of apparent approval?

To what extent has Kibaki's own relatives and business associates exploited the Kibaki family name and political connections to parlay themselves into shady power brokers in Post-Moi Kenya?

How much of the sordid deals have been done in the name but without the knowledge of the Kenyan president?

You see, if one looks at the Kenyan contemporary milieu while asking these hard questions, it is by no means obvious that a triumphant round of champagne is actually called for.

In fact, it makes one actually wince when they see Macharia Gaitho, perhaps in an unguarded Freudian slip echo Kibaki's sidekicks by referring to some of Kibaki's own cabinet ministers and close associates(but from the western as opposed to the central part of the country) as his "political enemies" that he has allegedly "out-foxed".

I would strongly suggest to the President that at this exact moment in time, the most germane Kiswahili expression I can think of is "Kikulacho Ki Nguoni Mwako".
9.0. Helping Out Kiraitu Put Together a National Anti-Corruption Plan

In his op-ed carried above, my former lawyer says:

"...H.E. President Mwai Kibaki has declared that there are no sacred cows. He is personally leading this fight. It is a war we must win. We cannot win this war without a plan. I am happy that we shall soon be launching the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan.As we wait for the plan, we have to keep our troops ready. The purpose of this workshop is to review our state of preparedness. It is to develop a clear understanding of our roles and responsibilities, and to develop a clear common vision of where we are going..."

Mheshimiwa Waziri:

It is a bit disheartening that almost three years into your government's mandate, having spent literally billions of shillings(including KShs. 2.6 million monthly mshahara schlepped out to your buddy and former law partner Aaron Ringera in a government sinecure) that in August 2005 you are admitting to the Kenyan public that all that money has gone to waste, squandered without a single significant CONVICTION of grand corruption.

The first symptom of what was WRONG with the Kibaki government's anti-corruption fight was the setting up of the Goldenberg Inquiry. Why did you waste millions of Kenyan tax payers' muthendi- with a tidy sum going to your other buddy, Dr. Gibson Kamau Kuria- on what was ultimately a USELESS PUBLIC RELATIONS EXERCISE? It may have been cathartic for the Kenyan wananchi attending the public inquiry to hear confirmation of widely held suspicions about Toa Kitu Kikubwa during the reign of Moi.

What would have been far more useful would have been the immediate arrest on CRIMINAL CHARGES as stipulated in Kenya's existing penal code of people like Daniel arap Moi, Nicholas Biwott, Kamlesh Pattni and a whole bunch of former political heavyweights right from the time NARC ascended into office where there was a groundswell of support for Kibaki and popular revulsion for Moi. Three years later, with growing evidence that the stench of ulanguzi, utapeli,ufisadi, wizi na uporaji is even more pungent under NARC it would be difficult to convince a Kenyan public that there was no vendetta going on if Biwott but no Murungaru; Gideon Moi but no Mwiraria; William Ruto but no Ndwiga were to be hauled to court in a highly selective propaganda exercise aimed at pulling the wool over the eyes of the Western donors that something "concrete" was at last being done to puncture the ballooning boils of grand graft.

It is in this context that I echo the words of Koigi wa Wamwere who says that"...those involved should be sacked regardless of their status.."

Ultimately, the strongest bulwark against systemic corruption within high ranking government circles is the much sought after new democratic constitution that NARC promised to deliver to the Kenyan people within its first 100 days in power. And it is not just any constitution, but specifically the constitution which had emerged after one one of the most public, most consultative and protracted democratic processes involving Wanjiku and her ordinary wananchi siblings. Here is what that version, the Zero Draft says about financial management and here is how it talks about setting up a National Revenue Authority, the Commission on Revenue Allocation and the Regulation of the Central Bank of Kenya. Clearly, as the Supreme Law of the Land, a true democratic constitution is the sharpest weapon in our anti-corruption arsenal. Little wonder therefore, that the Kibaki regime does NOT yet have a plan in place to fight corruption- there is still NO KATIBA, pure and simple!

In the meantime, like I said earlier, nothing prevents the Kibaki government from using the existing criminal laws to prosecute corrupt individuals in and out of public office.

What is wrong with arresting Moi, Biwott and Saitoti and charging each of them with land-grabbing?

What is wrong with arresting Murungaru and holding him accountable to the charges that Kenyans all ove the country are by now wearily familiar with?

Why not charge Mwiraria with conflict of interest and Ndwiga with influence peddling?

Kibaki can take proactive action by dropping tainted politicians from his cabinet. I did not wholly agree with the ideological motives (let me emphasize that!) that propelled Thabo Mbeki to fire his deputy, Jacob Zuma but he did win widespread international support in taking concrete steps to distance his government from unsavoury politicians who like their Kenyan counterparts, could be linked to cocaine smuggling, arms running, setting up of Made-in-Kenya Interhamwes and other criminal and illegal activities. I can guarantee that President Kibaki's approval ratings would quadruple.

These actions require a POLITICAL BACKBONE.

Does Kibaki have it, or is he going to shock us by telling us that:

Siyo kwa ubaya, bali ni kuuliza tu..

Onyango Oloo

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