I: Rest in Peace, Dr. Katini-Ombaka
The following message was posted on the Kenya Talk site one minute before 8 am EST, From: Anonymous - Tue, Aug 30, 7:59 AM
My sister in law Dr. Katini-Ombaka wife of the late Hon. Oki Ooko Ombaka of Gem (Ulumbi) passed away last Tuesday after an unfortunate illness in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her children by her side. There are many Kenyans in this part of the U.S and I know I can indulge in your caring spirit for assistance in this time of grief to transport her remains to be buried in Gem.
Please come to my assistance Saturday September 3rd at 9:00pm at Econo Lodge on Route 9 for a fundraiser to aid with the funeral expenses.
Please call me at 845-849-0179 or my sister Pam Akoth Ombaka at 914-668-4347 for any further information.
I look forward to your assistance!
Mrs. Jane Ouka.
From South ( New Jersey , Pennsylvania, Delaware, DC) : Take NY Thruway (87 North) to Exit 18 Pass toll turn right on 299 to 9W see Poughkeepsie sign turn right to another toll to Mid Hudson Bridge. Turn right see sign that says Wappingers Falls follow that sign (that is route 9). Take route 9 all the way to Econo Lodge located on the right. That is approximately one mile from th e Mid Hudson Bridge.
From North (Albany) : Take NY Thruway (87 South) to Exit 18 Pass toll turn right on 299 to 9W see Poughkeepsie sign turn right to another toll to Mid Hudson Bridge. Turn right see sign that says Wappingers Falls follow that sign (that is route 9). Take route 9 all the way to Econo Lodge located on the right. That is approximately one mile from th e Mid Hudson Bridge.
The address for the Econo Lodge is: 2625 Route 9 South Road
Poughkeepsie NY 12601
Incidentally, I personally called Mrs. Jane Ouka who gave me the family's official permission to disseminate the information is exactly the way it is conveyed above, including the telephone contacts.
June 6, 2004
Posted to the web June 7, 2004
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation
The Ombaka family(the late Dr.Ombaka and the late Katini with their kids-Amandla, Princess Akinyi and James Mark)
The Ombakas in Holland, 1990
The late Dr. Katini Nzau-Ombaka on the contentious issue of abortion.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation:What emotions hit you on hearing about the dumping of aborted foetuses?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka: First and foremost, we still have not established whether the foetuses were as a result of abortion or victims of lack of proper disposal. They could have been a result of normal deliveries but ended up in stillbirth or premature deliveries. What struck me most was the outpouring of emotions and immediate conclusion that the foetuses were a result of abortion. It was very 'fishy' that the foetuses were disposed off with the documents that were very specific to patients and to a particular doctor. I find it very difficult to believe that, under normal circumstances, foetuses would be disposed off with their documents. I have a lot of suspicion that those could have been the work of those opposed to the whole idea of abortion being legalised and wanted to drive their point home.
This is a very emotive issue. I would like to see as much compassion and interest in the increasing number of abandoned and unwanted babies that are alive. We don't have the luxury of burying foetuses in nice expensive coffins and flowers when we cannot feed the poor children among us.
Let us stop being hypocritical. We have a problem of caring for citizens that are already alive and who have constitutional rights. A foetus has no constitutional right. Let's put our energy there until we reach a stage in life when protection of unborn foetuses becomes a priority. In African cultures and tradition, there was a way of dealing with babies born of incest or as a result of unwanted pregnancies. They were even killed.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: What was more shocking, the disposal or the fact that abortions are taking place on such a scale?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka:I wasn't shocked at all. I have seen it all. I have seen women suffer and die because of unwanted pregnancies. We, health practitioners, and the government know that unsafe abortion has reached the magnitude of a public health problem. In Kenya, abortion contributes to about 40 per cent of maternal mortality. Outlawing abortion will only make the issue go underground and the situation will get worse.
In Italy, which is right under the nose of the Pope (the head of the Catholic Church), women there have access to contraceptives and abortion. In other words, they have the right to control their reproductive affairs. It's hypocritical for religious leaders to claim to protect the life of the unborn yet support the death penalty. should remain.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: Are your views on abortion formed more by religious-moral grounds or practical medical grounds?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka:On medical, social justice and human and woman's rights. During my post training at Kenyatta National Hospital, at one time I had a list of 75 cases of patients who needed urgent evacuation (cleaning) of the uterus after they had interfered with their pregnancies. I managed to get 25 cases done but after a lot of obstacles. Some end up being in the Intensive Care Unit and die from complications while others died while waiting for the procedure to be done.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: Abortion is legal in Kenya only to save the life of mother. Would you like to see any changes in the law?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka: The role of women today is not just to reproduce. The law should give room to women to enable them participate as equal partners in development. To enable them to do that, they must be able to control, their fertility. You Improve the status of women and the economic status of the country will follow.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: To what extent do you think doctors who undertake abortions are motivated primarily by money?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka: There is a misconception that legalising abortion will benefit doctors. Doctors make money because abortion is illegal. Legalise abortion and women will have access to government hospitals and will not need to go to private doctors.
It is not in doctors' interests to legalise abortion. Historically, it's doctors who had supported restricting abortion. A few doctors make money because they are the only ones offering a service that is in high demand and yet illegal. They also have the guts to do it either on the conviction that their responsibility is to the woman, and not for their (doctors') survival.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: Have you ever performed abortions, how frequently?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka: At Kenyatta, I had the opportunity to terminate pregnancies which had been approved after going through various regulatory measures. I had a case I will never forget. An old, widowed man from Kiambu came to hospital. He was hysterical. told us: "I am not taking my daughter from this hospital until the pregnancy is terminated and her tubes tied up". His daughter, who was epileptic and mentally- retarded had five children the old man was taking care of. The most horrific experience is that even after the decision was made to terminate her pregnancy, religious leaders and medical providers, used tactics to prevent the procedure taking place. The pregnancy was beyond now 12 weeks old, and into a dangerous stage for termination. Nobody has a right to impose his or her religious moral grounds on another.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: Under what circumstance do you, or would you, perform an abortion?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka: The law under the Penal Code says it should be done to save the life of the mother. The law has a leeway for the medical professionals to make the final decision. But many doctors have not used this leeway to protect the interests of women. They have not asserted their power to make professional judgment on the women who deserve to have their pregnancies terminated.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: To what extent do you think the right to abort or not is solely the decision of the individual carrying the baby?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka: Every case is unique. The scenario for every single woman is different. Termination could be made on health or social grounds.
No woman on this planet, in her right senses, goes looking for pregnancy so she can abort. And by the time she arrives at the decision to abort, irrespective of the law and what the society will say, she will go ahead and do it. There is no turning back.
A colleague of mine who was anti-abortion changed her mind after a 14-year old daughter of her friend went to her seeking an abortion. She turned the girl away. The same night the doctor was called to the hospital to only to find it was the same girl she had turned away earlier. She had tried to abort using a hanger. She girl died on the operating table.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: The Kenya Medical Association put forward pro-abortion proposals to the constitution review. One argument was that denying women access to safe abortions amounts to refusal to provide healthcare that only women need. Is it a gender issue?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka: Abortion is a gender issue. Many champions of the so-called pro-life "movement" are men . If they had an opportunity to get pregnant and an opportunity to be confronted with the dilemma of abortion, their stand might be different. If it were men dying because of abortion, the law could have been changed long time ago. Women, who are opposed to abortion do so because their minds are controlled by men. Who flock to churches to listen to that (anti-abortion) propaganda? Are they not women.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: Did the general outrage over the recent incident serve as a setback for the pro-choice lobby?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka:The pro-life "movement" now wants to use the incident to hammer their point home and call for strict law on abortion. The incident could not have happened at a better time. From the medical and health perspective, behind the emotions there should have been an outcry about the whole issue of disposal of waste.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation: One of the foetuses recovered on Mombasa Road was nearly full-term. Would you class that as abortion or murder?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka: It was not an abortion. It could have been a still-born. Even at KNH's sluice room, where afterbirth products are thrown, you will not fail to find pre-term babies. No way a 3.1 kg baby can be an abortion.
Stephen Mburu, Daily Nation:What strong message would you send to pro-lifers?
Dr Katini Nzau-Ombaka: I am pro-life and pro-choice. I believe that the woman has a right to choose and the right to live. There is a lot of hypocrisy in the society. If we really care about life, we must be consistent about protecting it. It is nonsense to argue that if we legalise abortion girls would be terminating pregnancies 'left , right and centre.' By decriminalising abortion, we will bring down the unacceptable maternal mortality in the country.
II: Kenya's Own Lennox Lewis?
On September 11, 2005, the world may wake up to a new bombshell- in the shape of a new world boxing champion from Kenya.
Evans Ashira Oure is making his second bid for a global pugilist's belt when he takes on WBO Super Middle-Weight Champ Joe Calzaghe in Wales, the UK.
Currently based in Denmark, Ashira Oure was born in the working class housing estate called Lumumba in Nairobi's east end before moving with his family to Mombasa at the age of three.
In fact, why don't we let him tell us his life story in his own words:
"My full names are Evans Ashira Oure, I was born on the December 28th 1969 in Jericho Lumumba, Nairobi, Kenya.
I lived in Nairobi until I was three years old, when I moved to Kibokoni, Mombasa. At the age of 5 years I started nursery school at Makande, before enlisting to Serani Primary School in Mombasa at the age of 6.
At the age of 11, my dad, Fredrick Ashira Oure Katibi, was killed in road accident. I moved to the Kakamega district in western Kenya, where I lived with my beloved Grand Mama Dibora Oure, and went to Emulunya Primary School. I lived with my grand mama until I was 15 years old and had completed primary school level. I then moved back to Mombasa for my secondary education at the Mombasa Secondary School.
Meanwhile, at the age of 13 I tried to play football, but after I suffered a serious injury on my knee I stopped. Then I started boxing like my brothers did! At the age of 16 I was junior champion. I then stopped boxing for a while to complete my secondary education. Then I come back at the age of 18. I left my Mentor Club- Transfix, the club where I started out, which was coached by my cousin brother, Charles Owiso. Charles was a 1984 Los Angeles Olympian! I left Transfix to box in the senior national boxing league, where I represented a company called K P &T and, but was still trained by my cousin.
How I Got On The National Team:
In late 1992, I was part of the Kenyan national team, and in early 1993 I was sent on my first international assignment; The King's Cup tournament in Khokhoen, Thailand. I did well, but broke my finger in the second fight. After that I was out of action for four months!
After my break, I went to the national trials where they selected the Federation of East, Southern, Central Africa Amateur boxing Association team (FESCAABA). I won the trials, then went on to win a bronze medal at the Championships at light welter, which was held in Nairobi. Later the same year I boxed in a international friendly at Mahe, Seychelles and won. In 1994 I won a silver medal in the (FESCAABA)) Championships, which was held in Mauritius.
I then went to the Commonwealth Games in Canada, but never got in the ring in the games, since I broke my thumb in the camp. I won the All Africa Games (held In Zimbabwe) in 1995 at welterweight. I was the Kenya Team captain in the 1995 Kings Cup (Chang Mai, Thailand) where I lost in my third fight. The Russian boxer who defeated me went on to win the Gold!
In 1996 I represented Kenya in the Atlanta Olympics, but lost my first outing to a boxer from Uzbekistan. Later in 1996 I won the light middle weight gold in the Commonwealth boxing championships at Mabato, South Africa. In 1997 I then boxed for Kenya Vs Uganda at Lugogo, Uganda. I fought the long time Ugandan Champion, James Lubwama, who is by the way now a professional in Florida, USA. I was the captain of the Kenyan national team in 1995 and 1997.
After the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, I thought I had had enough of boxing. I went back to working at the harbour where I used to work. After six months I started to miss boxing again. I figured if I was to continue my boxing career, it had to be outside Kenya. I had a standing offer to turn pro in Canada from after the Olympics. I wrote the promoter in Canada, and he wrote back telling me: that I had to stay in Canada for three years without leaving, before my papers would work out, and I will be able to go back and forth between Kenya and Canada.
I didn't want to do that! I also had contacts in Denmark where I had one amateur fight in preparation for the Olympics Games. I Wrote to Ivor De Lima, asking if it was possible for me to box for a Danish Club. He wrote back, telling me that he could make the arrangements, and check me out to see if he could get me a pro contract. Me and my friend Omar Kasongo, a Heavyweight, were ready to go, but he changed his mind, and went to Canada. I then travelled with my friend George Odour, a Middleweight, we both had four amateur fights in Denmark. I won them all, three by knock out, including a stoppage win over well respected Dane Michael Rask, in his back yard Aalborg!
After my Christmas holidays in Kenya in 1997, I was offered to come and sign a professional contract with a new promoter in Denmark called Anders Vester, who at that time was considered a "pirate promoter", due to him being licensed by a new organization in Denmark which was not recognized by the rest of Europe. But I had to make a living, so cared less about that issue.
I had my first professional fight in late March 1998, and also was blessed with a son- Ashira Oure Jnr. I won my Debut by stopping a boxer called Kontantin Dima in the second round. I won all my first six fights by Knock out, and after my 9th fight which I boxed for my first born- the IBF Intercontinental Junior Middleweight title, winning by 9th round KO against Argentinean Silvio Peppino in April 1999.
I started having problems with my then Promoter Anders Vester, who financially was raping my career since I had signed with him.
He had promised things would change after the title fight, which it didn't, and I had some regular fights before defending my title for the first and only time in January 2000, against American Darren Maciunski. I made a good fight, stopping the American in the 7th round, which was credited to good training with my then trainer Brian Mathiasen, since we had enough time for this fight.
The rest of the fights I had to take them on a short notice, training for at least two weeks before the fight. I had moved back to Kenya after my title fight due to problems with the promoter raping my career financially, and I could not afford to live in Denmark with the kind of money I got and still do something for my future.
Most of my title defence bouts kept dragging out and getting cancelled at the eleventh hour. So I decided to take a meeting with the promoter which didn't happen physically but on the phone since he turned out to be too busy for a meeting. Then I told him I could take the last fight for him then I could go, since the deal didn't make sense anyway. Everything was under his terms and nothing under mine. I had to decide I was done with such conditions and offered him the last fight before getting out of the deal.
He tried everything to ruin me and even wrote a letter to Danish foreigners administration trying to get me out of the country, and cancelled my work permit, forgetting he owed me money with all the cancelled fights with no training expenses paid, or me being paid a penny for my training .
A NEW START :
My Friend Jan Andersen (now Manager/ Advisor) came in on my side . By then he was my sponsor, and he told he to just keep training and he would take care of the details. I thanked God for listening to my prayers, and still prayed to God to get me through this and give me my career back. I started training again with my old trainer Ivor Delima, and I was offered a fight by Mogens Palle and had to move a weight class up to middleweight, and fight his new signing Armand Krajnc for the WBO World title and the WBA International title.
I took the offer, but then the old promoter, Vester, took me to court for taking the fight. Luckily my Friend / Manager / Advisor Jan Andersen, had a lawyer, Michael Hammer, on my case, which saw Vester lose the in court big time, and I was told I was free to box and Vester did not have any rights on me no more!!!
I remember getting the news in the Gym and I was down on my knees thanking God, for his great work. Meanwhile Krajnc had trouble with Universum Box Promotions, who he was contracted to before, which saw him lose the case. I was rescheduled to box for the IBA World title and the WBA international title still, against Fredrik Alvarez who at that time was 37-4 (25 kOs), and I was 19-0 (10 kOs). I knocked out Alvarez in the 11th round and won the IBA World Title and WBA international Title!
I thanked God and asked him to bless my manager who worked so hard, and took my career out of the drain to the road again. I took off my hat to my trainer Ivor Delima, who worked hard with me every single day for the fight.
Now we all like a family in boxing, and looking at the next level in boxing being a contender at middle weight, and working with the world most respected promoter Don King. I still believe my dreams of taking one of the biggest title will come true come the time.
God has blessed me with a beautiful wife Lene Ashira and two Beloved Sons Ashira Oure Jnr (5 yrs and 10 months). and Oure Ashira Jnr (1yr 6 months).
A word to all my fans and friends:
I am here for real and me/my team we are taking this thing to the next level and do our thing.
God's Love and Protection Be With Everyone!"
III: What is a Bully?
Here is what Wikipedia tells us about this PITIFUL creature:
In colloquial speech, bullying is most often used to describe a form of harassment perpetrated by a child who is older, stronger, or otherwise more powerful socially, upon weaker peers. Bullying can occur in situations including in school or college/university, the workplace, by neighbours, and between countries. Whatever the situation the power structure is typically evident between the bully and victim. It seems to those outside the relationship that the bully's power depends only upon the perception of the victim, with the victim being too intimidated to put up effective resistance. However the victim usually has just cause to be afraid of the bully due to the threat and actually carrying out of physical/sexual violence, or loss of livelihood. Bullying is behind most claims of discrimination in the workplace.
Bullying is when someone repeatedly acts or says things to have power over another person. Bullies mainly use a combination of intimidation and humiliation to torment others. The following is some examples of bullying techniques:
- Calling the victim names and stating the victim is useless at whatever they do
- Spreading gossip and rumours about him/her
- Threats of job loss and disciplinary action for unspecified reasons
- Constant negative criticism for unspecified allegations
- Taking the victim's possessions or taking control of the victim's work
- Demoting the victim
- Making the victim do what they do not want to do with a threat of violence or disciplinary action if they refuse
- Actually following through with a threat on one occasion to ensure the victim will comply with all future orders
- Cyberbullying through the use of various information technologies
Bullying can occur in schools, universities, families, between neighbours, and in workplaces.There is no clearer indicator of the sense of panic and desperate foreboding in the Kibaki anchored Yes to Civilian Dictatorship Camp that can surpass or trump the asinine primary school prefect strictures from Kenyan civil service head honcho Francis Muthaura to the five cabinet ministers saying NO to the Betrayal of Kenyan Democratic Aspirations.
You know that NAK political wagongaji are scrapping the bottom of a very empty barrel when they resort to such high profile acts of boorish intimidation as displayed by Francis Muthaura. Sources which may be within or around that cabinet have indicated to me in the past that Muthaura has been known to block a cabinet approved overseas trip of this or that waziri just to spite them- in a manner reminiscent to how the former Nakuru police boss James Mungai used to humiliate Daniel arap Moi when the former head of state was second banana to the red eyed old man with JM's blood on his hands. It is a testimony to the undemocratic nature of the Kenyan neo-colonial state that unelected mandarin top dogs like Simeon Nyachae, Hezekiah Oyugi, Richard Leakey and Philip Mbithi in the past and Francis Muthaura today in effect wield or try to wield defacto life and death powers over elected ministers leaders who are on paper, at least theoretically their bosses.
If I have one suggestion for the sinister, camera shy Meru hitman for the emerging Kibaki dictatorship it is simply this: find out from Nyachae, Mbithi and Leakey when exactly they were pushed unceremoniously down the stairs and by who even as you put this paraphrased and improvised Kiswahili methali medley in your kiko:
mwenye nguvu mpishe/
kumbuka kwa makini kwamba/
maji yakijaa, hupwaa/
mpanda ngazi hushuka
chombo cha kuzama hakina usukani/
dalili ya mvua ni mawingu/
ikiwa hujui kufa, tazama kaburi/
kiburi sio maungwana/
shukrani ya punda ni mashizi/
kuku mgeni hakosi kamba mguuni/
kupanda mchongoma, kushuka ngoma/
kwenda mbio siyo kufika/
la kuvunja halina rubani/
la kuvunda halina ubani/
lila na fila hazitangamani/
lisemwalo lipo, ikiwa halipo yaja/
mchimba kisima huingia mwenyewe/
mla mbuzi hulipa ng'ombe/
mpiga ngumi ukuta huumiza mkonowe/
mtaka yote hukosa yote/
mtoto akililia wembe mpe/
mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka/
mvuvi ajuwa pweza alipo/
mwenye pupa hadiriki kula tamu/
nimekupaka wanja wanipaka pili pili/
tamaa mbele mauti nyuma/
siku njema huonekana asubuhi/
subira yavuta heri huleta kilicho mbali/
usisahau ubaharia kwa sababu ya unahodha....
IV: Is The Enemy of Your Enemy You Friend?:Problematizing the NO Campaign
"...The (wananchi) do need unity. And the important thing to remember is that nobody but themselves will “give” them unity, that nobody can help them achieve unity. Unity cannot be “promised”—that would be vain boasting, self-deception; unity cannot be “created” out of “agreements” between intellectualist groups. To think so is a profoundly sad, naive, and ignorant delusion.Unity must be won...Nothing is easier than to write the word “unity” in yard-long letters, to promise it and to “proclaim” oneself an advocate of unity...."
- Vladmir Lenin on Unity, May 30, 1914
From the look of things, the YES side is in complete and utter disarray following the tumultous series of gaffes, miscues, screw ups and melt-downs that has trailed the aftermath of Wako Draft launch. The ill-fated and wrong-headed expansion of religious courts to include mahakama for the irreligious has unleashed a back lash that has slapped the smirks of the scheming mugs of the drafters of the Imperial Mutilation.
Nani mpumbavu sasa? Yaonekana kiongozi wetu ka pumbaa, kaduwaa, kazubaa na kagaa gaa!
A few days ago- in Church no less- Migosi the Presshhident was urging Kenyans to read the Wako Draft before opening their bakulis to payuka yuka.
Well, guess what:
The Prezido has DEFINITELY NOT read that document if he can embarass himself publicly in a NO stronghold by INSISTING that provincial administraion will NOT be scrapped in the proposed new constitution!
Just a few short weeks ago, it appeared as if the Kibaki YES to Dictatorship camp had pocketed the massive Christian vote by blocking the Bomas Draft that had included Kadhi's Courts in the constitution. Today, this Atheist called Onyango Oloo is being bombarded by fervent NO email pleas from a world wide consortium of rabid Kenyan Born Again zealots who have launched a hate fuelled Crusade against Kenyan Muslims in cyberspace, on the FM airwaves and in a hundred thousand evangelical and charismatic pulpits and lecterns dotting the length and breadth of our Katibaless country. The despot who locked us up in the early 1980s and blocked for a quarter of a century the path to a new democratic dispensation- Daniel arap Moi himself- is today an activist and self-styled spokesperson for the NO campaign!
So are we now ALL on the same side? Bigots and secularists; dictators and the survivors of Kamiti?
So those Zonked Out, Far Right Kenyan Christians who have vowed to vote NO because they hate Muslims so much are on the same side as those very Kenyan Muslims who were part of the backbone of the NO campaign from the very beginning?
This is just RIDICULOUS!
The other day, I blew my firimbi very loudly about the dastardly, blood curdling and CHILLING whispering and gossip campaign organized by the Christian Leon Mugeseras of Nairobi openly recruiting a Born Again Kenyan Interhamwe Lord's Resistance Army to engage in mortal combat against millions of innocent Kenyans whose only crime happens to be their profession, adherence and practice of the Islamic faith.
Specifically, I made a point of publicizing to the max this hate filled Power Point presentation that had been doing the email clandestine route. A day later, I followed up with this email sent to me by one of our my own blood relatives:
I received the following email as a much forwarded FW forward on Saturday(August 27, 2005) afternoon:
From: Raphael (Last Name Withheld)
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 3:15 AM
To:Recipient list Suppressed
I trust all are responsible citizens. If for any reason you've never voted in the past, this time round do not allow every other Tom and Harry to decide for you. I trust I will get a soft copy of the constitution later today. I will forward to you. Meanwhile look at the highlights attached below.
Hallo. What you are about to read is the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH. That is what HOPE FM advocates for. THE TRUTH. The new draft constitution bill is out and WE KNOW THAT YOU HAVE READ IT. If not, please do. There will be an exam, so be well read. We are not in anyway creators of enmity between religions. But we love it when you are equipped with knowledge. “My people perish from____________”, jaza pengo (fill in the blank). Alright, once you are done reading the document address all your questions to the contacts below. It is time to READ and UNDERSTAND.
Ps….should this email be making it’s way into your box without your express permission, kindly inform us. We apologise should this happen and we will take you off the list.
The real Kenyan
What is a Referendum?
Referring back to the people a document for their opinion. In this case the Draft constitution.
What is expected of you?
To vote Yes or No to the whole document. It will not be on an article-by-article basis.
Non Muslims how does the document affect you?
Qualification of Bill of Rights on the basis of Religion, which means that eventually other fundamental rights, will be effected e.g.:
1.Freedom of worship-Islam is an intolerant religion and aims at total domination and extermination of non-Muslims
2.Freedom of expression: Islam is intolerant of expression witness the Fuatwas pronounced on writers such as Salman Rushidie.
3.Freedom of Assembly &Association: Will not allow non-Muslims equal rights and will severely restrict their rights.
4.Freedom of conscience-including freedom of thought and religion, to change religion or belief, to either alone or in community with others and both in public and private manifest& propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice & observance. The following are just a few examples of the breach of this fundamental right being practiced now even before this special exemption becomes law:
Koran does not allow change of religion. This is apostasy punishable by death. Muslims scurrilously twisting scripture to destabilize the weak and doubting Christian believers whilst demanding that non-Muslims must not handle or speak about the Koran.
Many incidents of Muslims burning churches on pretext that the preachers preached against them .
REMEMBER their protest against the prayer of Bishop Kihara on 9/8/01 though the prayer was his right of conscience.
DID you know that ‘Keshas’ have now been banned in Nairobi? This was carried by the papers on Tuesday 19th. Of July 2005.The ban has been issued by the Provincial Police Officer Nairobi on the grounds of insecurity.
5.Protection from inhuman and degrading treatment and from slavery; well-known fact that Muslims were slave traders and that in their culture and religion it is acceptable. Witness slavery in Sudan being practiced by Muslims against the blacks.
6.Provision of Education (Islamic Curricular)
7.Equal Treatment before the Law –they shall be exempt (a classic case of all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.)
8.Protection of Life; Muslims have already taken away innocent lives in their bombing of Nairobi Norfolk hotel and the USA embassy on 7/8/98,the bombing of paradise hotel, the blowing up of two policemen in Mombasa. REMEMBER it is legitimate to kill a non Muslim (and in Darfur a Black Muslim)
9.Women have been asked to vote in large numbers in view of the affirmative action. However this exemption of Muslims from equality will mean that women will be subjugated. Literally this will be the last time they vote!
Kadhi’s Courts - Did you know?
(i)Are not provided for in Koran.
(ii)They are found in 5 countries only in the world; Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Jordan and Pakistan.
(iii)The most populous Moslem country Indonesia does not have these courts (98% Muslim).
(iv)Ghana has Kadhi’s courts outside the Constitution.
(v)Under the British the Kadhis not paid by the government maintained by their own co-religionists.
(vi)At independence 10 points agreed to between British/Zanzibar/Kenya about coastal strip. Only one finds it’s way into Constitution the Kadhi’s courts.
(vii)No definition made of what are personal laws in respect to Muslims.
(viii)At independence Kadhi’s courts confined to “so called ten mile strip” which is an anomaly as Kenya is now a sovereign Republic. No remnant of Sultan’s subjects.
(ix)Kadhi’s courts Act passed in 1967 expands jurisdiction of Kadhi’s to the rest of Kenya. Which was unconstitutional because Constitution did not allow this.
(x)In 1969 Constitution changed to allow Kadhi’s courts throughout Kenya. The Amending Act “sneaked” in this change calling it a change of form not substance.
Kilifi document expands this by giving
(i)Equal standing of all laws to the Constitution and includes personal laws
(ii)Only personal law mentioned is Islamic personal law, which is administered by Kadhi’s courts in effect, making their decision equal to the Constitution.
Are totally inadequate and do not provide for a smooth transition
In effect the proclamation of the new Constitution on 12/12/05 will create a vacuum, as the present constitution will stand repealed; yet curiously the existing laws shall continue with modifications and adaptations and qualifications being made by an undisclosed authority.
Putting it simply the effect is similar to the millennium Bug there will be a crash before new laws are enacted 1-5 years down the road. Presumably the president having begun by proclaiming the Constitution shall continue ruling by proclamations to fill in the void.
This will be necessary, as the provincial administration will be dissolved on 12/12/02 thus creating a vacuum in security, which will take time to fill.
The Local councillors will be in a precarious situation before elections are held.
The other issue is that the president holds office for five years from the date of assumption of office. The date of assumption of office under the new constitution is not stated; instead it says that the president shall continue in office until the first elections are held under the new constituion. The necessary implication is that the president begins his term of office from 13/12/2005 to 12/12/2010!
As for the MP’s they are to continue in office for the unexpired term presumably to 2007 yet the wording of the article is such that the M.P.’s can argue that their unexpired term starts running from 13/12/2005 to 12/12/2010!Kenyans cherished dream of revenging on their MP’s will be cruelly vanquished.
In the judiciary shall be upon a constituting of a Judicial Service Commission embark on a full scale house cleaning which will effectively paralyse delivery of services. Finally when the services resume the laws shall be different .In effect all cases pending shall end up being an academic exercise.
Case in court
Preliminary objections raised by CKRC on 3 points:
1.Jurisdiction – High Court cannot remove a section of the Constitution
2.Lack of cause of Action – there is no substance in our complaint
3.Justifiability – the court cannot examine the document until it is passed as law.
(i)S.66. in the current Constitution is unconstitutional ,offends the separation of church and state and also democratic principle,
(ii)The inclusion of Kadhi’s court discriminatory treatment of different faiths
a.Kadhi’s public officers yet Constitution prohibits the appointment of officers purely on the basis of creed.
(iii)The 1969 “Constitutional” amendment tries to cure the unconstitutional of the 1967 Kadhi’s Courts Act.
(iv)1982, 1986 Kadhi’s increased to 8 currently they are 16. Bomas increases them to 40.
(v)Kadhis courts were to determine questions of Muslim law relating to personal status, marriage, divorce or inheritance in proceedings in which all the parties profess the Muslim religion.
(vi)1977? Succession law passed applicable to all Kenyans. Muslims rose up in arms and had themselves excluded from its operation.
(vii)Constitution Review begins CKRC gives questionnaires (biased) on Kadhi’s courts.
(viii)Response questionnaires Katiba very poor and yet CKRC produces document giving great powers to Kadhi’s courts.
(ix)2004 Bomas draft – scales down Kadhi’s courts but does not touch exemption from bill of rights; irrespective of the fact that there is separation of state and religion and no religion shall be treated superior to another and the forbidding of employment on basis of faith (b) Public officers paid by tax payers to render service yet can only render Muslims who are only 6% of the population of Kenya – Even if courts are currently short staffed Kadhi’s cannot step in to help move cases.
(c) Kadhi’s as public officers propagate public policy which means Government’s policy is to Islamise Kenya.
(x)The document is comprehensive, clear and legal. Does not require to be passed into law for the court to look into it. It is already unconstitutional.
(xi)Ringera’s ruling has looked into this document and stated that parliament cannot bring in a completely new Constitution; it can only amend the existing one.
STATUS OF CASE
On 19 & 20.7.05 – Court adjourned case on basis that one judge sitting in a Criminal Appeal. The Judge is expected to be available in November. Case is expected to continue on 14, 15 and 16th of November. The referendum is on 22/11/05.
These are only pre-elminiary steps the case itself is yet to begin.
Note the referendum is in the following week.
KENYANS MUST GIRD UP THEIR LOINS TO:
Watch - Acquaint yourself with the Bomas draft.
Prepare to vote ‘NO’ because the voting is on the whole document.
REMEMBER that even though the Referendum is not provided for in the constitution you still must vote because:
a)You are being asked to overthrow the constitutionally elected Government with your vote.
b)The propagators of the constitution are counting on your apathy and ignorance to push through their agenda
REMEMBER the Constitution will be passed by simple majority i.e. 5 Kenyan’s voting will be sufficient to bring in the new “ Constitution.”
To challenge the results of the referendum you will have to deposit five million shillings with the court before your case can be heard. If you do not have the money the case shall be dismissed.
A Countdown Campaign
Speak on issues during services
Put information on service sheets.
Buy faith oriented papers and other non-partisan papers since the leading daily has maintained a blanket silence on the churches protest.
Listen and watch faith oriented media and other non-partisan media since the leading media houses have maintained a blanket silence on the churches protest.
Station a prominent countdown calendar in every church
Make calls to all radio stations requesting for programmes to give unbiased civic education
Turn out in large numbers for the voting
Spread the news – speak to at least 2 people everyday to vote NO!
Form observer groups
Seek to be deployed as election officials
Provide correct civic education
Form a prayer chain
Pray every day at least for a moment
Give of your time, skills, energy and finances
Contact Kenya Church for more information
The Kenya Church
P.O.Box 10445 00100
As an anti-dote to the above anti-Muslim bile, check out Ahmed Issack Hassan's piece on the Kadhi's Courts.
I have been speaking to some people about these messages. About half an hour ago- that is at approximately 5:37 am, Monday, August 29, 2005, I spoke to my fiancee as she was riding in a matatu on her way to a Born Again mid-day prayer session. I brought up the contents of the above email and Power Presentation and jokingly told her that I would have to "divorce" her even before marrying her. She shot right back with a jest-tinged zesty riposte of her own:
"Basi naomba unipe talaka sita, wacha tatu za kawaida", a reference to the Islamic practice where a marriage is annulled with the husband saying three times, "I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee". More seriously she admonished me not to lump all Born Again Christians into the same xenophobic boat-pointing out that she had not only grown up in Mombasa all her life- her dad is from Kirinyaga and her mom is from Mwatate- and that even her specific neighbourhood's name references the particular Islamic ambience of that part of Mombasa.
That is why I want to emphasize again that Christians in Kenya are NOT a monolithic, Muslim hating mob. In fact, the perhaps I may save some time by reproducing an exchange I had with a Nairobi based Christian netter on this very subject over at the newly launched JUKWAA forum:
roughrider:And here is another perspective from "Kenyan 11" posted at the JUKWAA forum:
fortunately i am here. the first thing you should do is to refer to my actual writings and sentiments about christians and christianity- as opposed to your distortions of the same.
let me recap:
i know enough about christianity in general and kenyan christians in particular to know that the true christians do not hate, nor have they ever been threatened by muslims in general and kenyan muslims in particular. i used to be a very staunch christian for more than half of my life. even today, i keep in touch with a whole bunch of them- starting with my born again christian fiancee who was born and raised and still lives in the very muslim town of mombasa. before i wrote this piece i consulted with her- as i did another of one of my very best friends who also happens to be a practising kenyan muslim- who grew up in a predominantly christian part of kenya where she never saw, heard or experienced any of the intolerance which is a NEWLY FANGLED thing.
all over the world we have a few bigots who pretend to speak for the great religions.
are osama bin laden's twisted notions representative of mainstream islam? of course not.
does pat robertson speak for christians when he calls for the assassination of hugo chavez? does jerry falwell speak for christians when he trashes islam? of course not. do the hindu nationalists speak for hinduism when they distort the tenets of their faith to preach communal and sectarian hatred? the answer is a no brainer. do the zionist racist settlers speak for mainstream judaism when they shoot innocent palestinians- the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
is the following statement actually true:
“Islamization, is a process that starts with Kadhi's Courts arbitrating on matters of personal law, next comes the extension of jurisdiction to cover all civil matters, and eventually ends with full Sharia.”
that is a load of bs. i grew up in mombasa, which is predominantly a muslim town. there was never any attempt by any muslim- individual or institutional to try and impose any aspect of islam on me.
on the other hand, one can argue that the reverse is true- muslims in kenya live in a defacto christian state. how many national holidays specifically observe muslim holy days? how many observe christian holy days? is the president of kenya a muslim? is the vicepresident a hindu? is the minister of health a buddhist? you know the answer to those questions. jomo kenyatta was the only head of state who truly respected the diversity of religious callings in kenya. contrast that with daniel arap moi's high profile showy christianity or with the blatant catholic biases of the current kenyan president, his vp and his first lady.
roughrider you see you are in no position to preach to me about christianity- a faith that i know just as well, if not better than you. you also can tell me nothing new about kenyan christians- you are talking about my fiancee, my family, my neighbours, my friends, my political associates.
i write with so much outrage because i am aware that some far right ideologues are attempting to hijack christianity in kenya from its long standing tolerant and accomodating traditions in kenya to this foreign fueled artificial war on islam. kenyan christians have never fought islam. there have been thriving muslim communities in kendu bay, mumias, nyeri and all over the kenyan interior for over one hundred years. not too many people acknowledge that barrack obama's father, step mother and grandfather were all practising muslims-from alego, siaya. for the longest period, the person who slaughtered the cow every day at the dudi market in my home squared was this kindly muslim luhyia mzee from muhaka who made sure it was halal- in a community where 99% of the residents were christians.
it is dastardly how a simple democratic demand to recognize the religious and cultural rights of kenyan minorities is being distorted and politicized by islamophobes who are in fact pursuing a more ominous ideological agenda predicated on the spurious huffingtonian clash of civilzations hypothesis. the only people in the world that i can think of who will benefit if christians and muslims clash in kenya is george w bush and osama bin laden- and i doubt if any serious christian or any serious muslim thinks that either of the two are authorities on either christianity or islam.
i am serious about calling for the arrest of all the islamophobic demagogues who use the garb of christianity to spew the gab of hate and religious intolerance in kenya. these are NOT christians because true christians are taught to love rather than hate; true christians love their neighbours, they do not malign and distort their neighbours' religious and cultural beliefs.
many of the vile attacks on islam in that power point presentation are predicated on falsehoods by islamophobes about islam. i lived in mombasa for a big chunk of my life- never saw any attempt at a jihad. people talk as if muslims did not die during the 1998 nairobi bombings; tell you what- guess what was the faith of the traditional dancers who were the ONLY casualties of the kikambala bombings- they were muslims! muslims are just as adamantly opposed to terrorism as all the other innocent victims of terror! do you feel personally responsible as a christian for the oklahoma city bombing because timothy mcveigh identified himself as a christian? do you endorse the racist cross burnings by the kkk? do you condone the crime of apartheid that was imposed by xenophobes who based their hatred on a twisted application of biblical tenets? those are all rhetorical questions.
there are is a long tradition of christian based social justice activism and political advocacy in kenya that stretches back all the way back from yohanna owalo, elijah masinde and bildad kaggia to alexander muge, father gabriel dolan and timothy njoya- many of these christians have been anti-imperialist in one form or another- so please do not lump all kenyan christians in the same boat. there are kenyan christians who believe in reproductive choice- not all of them are potential operation rescue recruits.
i am repeating my warning:
there is a very dangerous trend happening in kenya right now, where some cynical right wing ideologues are taking advantage of the fact that there are millions of kenyans who embrace the christian faith to recruit peace loving, democracy seeking kenyan christians into a false war on islam and against kenyan muslims.
islam is NOT the enemy of kenyan christians.
the true enemies of kenyan christians are also the enemies of kenyan muslims- poverty, underdevelopment, repression, hiv/aids, sexism, ignorance and lack of democratic institutions. when kenyans voted in kibaki and narc in 2002 they were united across religious and sectarian lines- kibaki got a ringing endorsement from the coast province which is predominantly muslim. very few of those muslims would have expected the same government to tolerate the kind of insane bile that people like you roughrider are openly countenancing.
please desist from confusing the narrow minded islamophobc rantings by the demagagues i denounce with the mainstream sentiments of millions of christians in kenya- and by the way roughrider, i do not need a password from you to gauge those sentiments- like i said you are talking about my born again fiancee, my born again sisters, aunties, uncles, cousins, former school mates and relatives.
i do not need to sit through a power point presentation riddled with lies about islam to learn about the thousands of living and breathing kenyan muslims i have known throughout my life.
the vile agenda of the far right so called "christian" demagogues will be exposed- together with it their abject ignorance of both christianity and islam. watch this space. i just got started buddy. i hope you can and will stick around when we debate what true christian and muslim beliefs are. please do not run away.
According to an article by Esther Onchana in the Daily Nation, Kadhis courts have been here since 1895 :"Section 66 (5) of the Constitution extends the jurisdiction of these courts to "the determination of questions of Muslim law relating to personal status, marriage, divorce or inheritance, in proceedings in which all the parties are Muslims."
They are in operation as we speak and have harmed no one and threaten no one. As Kenyans criss cross the motherland and go about their daily business, they remain unaffected or untouched by these courts whose only purpose is to help the country's minority Muslims practise their lifestyle. Marriage, inheritance and lifestyle issues for the Muslims are guided there and have been thrashed out in these courts for ages. To try and distort facts and make the hoi polloi, the masses out there, cringe in fear that some dangerous courts are on the way here is in my opinion the worst crime against a united, peace loving country. All arguments against these courts are driven by preachers of hate keen to stoke fear and hate into Kenyan hearts and thus feed the already building up flames of religious tension over these courts. Strangling the rights of the minority (respected for ages but clearly under threat now from a powerful lobby group) is not the way forward for our rainbow nation that is known across the globe and the continent for its tolerance, peace and stability.
It is clear that there is a hidden agenda in this zealous drive to kick out the Kadhi courts from existence. Irrespective of the results of their drive, the preachers of hate should know one thing: in this day and age, no amount of spin, manipulation of information for selfish ends or creation of fear in public minds will deter us from repeating our stance. The kadhi courts have harmed no one and are being hounded out by zealots preaching fear into the hearts of innocent Kenyans. I will not lionize these hate mongers further by poring over their acts of aggression against a peaceful minority but my determination to infuse and inject honesty into this particular debate continues. I will not shy away from repeating what many Kenyans know; the courts are simply being opposed because of selfish interests by certain powerful segments of our church leadership. What harm will these courts do? Pore over the draft constitution and you will see that the public is being tuned into opposing what are essentially harmless courts.
It is always refreshing to encounter sobering insights like Kenya 11's above.
One always pines for more.
Scanning many of the Kenyan forums it is quite clear that the long decades of Kenyatta-Moi clampdown on dissenting opinions left in their wake a semi-permanent pall of reticence and self-censorship.
By and large, one notices robust exchanges on fairly obvious “non-contentious issues” or trivial matters like ethnic differences are blown up to gargantuan, unbridgeable chasms that define our seeming national ethos of constant strife- these superficial tribal analyses are in turn, often completely de-anchored from history, class and other social determinants.
At times like this one is almost rueful as one realizes we have traveled full circle back to the racist reductionisms of African affairs not rising above atavistic so called primordial conflicts.
Beyond that, we observe the superficial public sullen tight lipped non-responses belie a Pinteresque sub-text as we often inadvertently eavesdrop on more candid vile talk where all the cosmopolitan masks are ripped off to reveal the inner tribalist.
Yaani there are the times I have stumbled on to private messages back and forth between people I thought I knew saying things in private that were the diametrical opposite of what they post online.
Case in point.
There is a certain Kenyan who lives in a medium sized English industrial city famous for its football team- not Manchester, and no I am not talking about Liverpool and London is NOT “medium sized” so stop guessing who openly called for the assassination of a mwanasiasa deemed to be very pesky in one of the most post card friendly regions of the country.
Another friend of mine who lives very close to one of the two poles-he is not close to Anarctica- was quite amused when a very famous Kenyan intellectual started “short-waving” in my rafiki's presence with some chunky doses of very shady ethnic chauvinism- not realizing that my pal had learned that particular tongue as his very second language in the town which used to have a stadium called Afraha...
Another case in point.
There is one site where a certain middle aged Kenyan professional from one of the regions west of the Eastern Province vegetates with his mind swirling and his mouth foaming 24/7 with undying hatred for a certain Kenyan politician and the ethnic group that this mwanasiasa was born into. This person, who never use real name on this forum has a completely different public persona in other Kenyan forums- online and offline- where he is the personification of the urbane, avuncular, cosmopolitan Pan Africanist.
So that is why I have sometimes taken the perception of cybersilence as a very vocal statement- similar to what I hear from closeted Canadian racists: you will never see our true face or hear our true voices when we are in public; we will play act, pretend we are “nice”, but you cannot control our behaviour with your “political correctness” in our own living rooms.
A forum that I recently retreated from for reasons which need not detain us here provides the most vivid window into this demi-monde of putrid bigotry among Kenyans abroad and/or online. Browsing through that colony of vipers, cobras, anacondas and rattlesnakes brings one directly, on an hourly basis, with the naked thoughts of Kenyans talking candidly when they imagine that no one can see them- in fact some have openly boasted that they love the forum because they can launch flame wars against individuals, espouse their tribalism, their sexism, their religious bigotry using the mantra of “free speech”- as long this “ free speech” is not challenged and dissected for its noxious ingredients by other voices coming from elsewhere on the ideological spectrum.
But even after putting all of the above into context and consideration, I am still somewhat perplexed me is the deafening silence on the blatant Islamophobic hate speech from many of the Kenyans abroad about this issue. Many of these Kenyans online identify as Christians ( on one forum each day begins and ends with an uplifting dose of Biblical propaganda) and some even go as far as calling themselves democrats- however, it is being largely SILENCE that has been the most voluble response. It is almost as if there is a chilling deliberate conspiracy to squelch any public debate about the odious rantings of the so called "Kenya Church".
My obvious swali is this: would a similar barang'et envelop these forums if it was an Islamic Power Point presentation and religious chain letter that had come to light?
When I contemplate this retreat from lo·quaci·ty among the normally loose lipped Kenyan Christians I get a very sobering insight as to why the crimes of the Nazis and the Fascists and the tribal genocidal schemers in places like Rwanda took place with such impunity:
For whatever reason, a big chunk of the population in Hitler's Germany, in Mussolini's Italy, in Francisco Franco's Spain, in Salazar's Portugal and currently, in the Bible Belt of Dubya's America- felt SAFER turning a blind eye for the hopelessly morally timid to active participation for the closeted urban and suburban fascists who would not otherwise "harm a fly".
Having lived in Canada for close to twenty years I have come to realize that the people one should be scared of are NOT the toilet- mouthed Nigger hating hobos languishing in the sidewalks, but rather those genteel well heeled gentlemen and polite ladies commuting to the Toronto financial hub from their bedroom communities in the 905 and 519 hinterland who smile at you with oh that oh so infectious and disarming Canadian charm- on their way to cut a cheque for the neo-conservative opposition who are railing against immigrants and refugees or renew their membership to that right wing think tank which have drawn pie charts and projected nasty scenarios predicting the end of “cradle to grave welfare entitlement”.
My American friends south of the 49th Parallel (and they come in many racial and ideological hues, from purple- haired, blue eyed, nose knob dangling, Ikea furniture buying, futon bed sleeping, community radio listening, MP office occupying, Iraq war protesting, club crawling, tatoo collecting, graffiti scanning, Nike hating, Jordan sneaker wearing, Starbucks loathing, grand latte loving, Bill Gates stalking, X-Box addicted, open relationship leaning omnisexual sarong wearing twenty-something anarchist vegans from Connecticut attending Harvard wannabe McGill University to ankh donning, incense burning, Shango worshipping, Goree Island pilgrimaging, Nubian Queen romanticizing, Baaba Maal singing alonging, Ethiopian cross wearing, Ngugi novel reading, ugali eating, nyama chomaring, palm wine drinking, Agbada gown wearing, shea butter rubbing, Steve Biko quoting, Kwanzaa celebrating, Ndebele marrying, forty something African-American nationalists to Bible thumping, Budweiser swigging, Geico Commercial doting, Super Bowl salivating, country music collecting, fake Texan twanging, Bill Clinton hating thirty something Kenyan evangelical nationals) have all marvelled at the alacrity and sense of purpose of the Karl Rove led Republicans in galvanizing simple minded Americans to forge a united racist, sexist, homophobic neo-conservative wall of hate to keep out any notions of the United States of America rejoining the community of civilized, tolerant democratic minded humankind.
Again, they have all pointed out that many of the American citizens who voted for Bush last year
all 59,054,087 of them were not necessarily out and out racists, fascists, war mongers, misogynists or dimwits, but on the contrary very ordinary people( some members of the Mensa Society) who are COMFORTED by the "strength" and "stability" a National Security State to the extent that they would trade in the last traces of their humanity for the brainless existence of a goat, a pig, a donkey, a duck or some other farm animal who rubber stamped all the attacks on domestic civil liberties and ongoing hi-tech carnage abroad.
Increasingly, when I observe my fellow Kenyans abroad it becomes more and more obvious that whether we are in Quebec, or Ontario, New York or Texas, Sussex or Worcestershire, Saxony or Bavaria, Brittany or Lyons, Queensland or Sharjah- we more and replicate the class contradictions, ethnic cleavages and ideological disconnects from back home. Social stratification has NOT appeared overnight among Kenyan communities abroad; what is new is this insane hunger by some Kenyan technocrats and careerists to hit the neocolonial jackpot that will allow them to transition from comfortable petit-bourgeois suburban auto-piloting to gliding high on the clouds of comprador bourgeois super affluence.
Now we know that in Kenya because of our dependent neo-colonial status visa vis international finance capital, the lack of a truly homegrown capitalist class has meant that the surest way for a nondescript pharmacist like Chris Murungaru to move from a flat on Ngong' Road to a mansion in Runda is to either get his ass elected to parliament and then appointed to the cabinet, or if that is not a possibility to immediately brown-nose and otherwise ingratiate oneself to someone who has "accomplished" that feat by hook or crook.
What makes everybody from a Mwai Kibaki to a third niece of a Raphael Tuju that much hungrier for a piece of the neo-colonial state pie has to do with the shifts in the structure of the global capitalist economy. Unlike the sixties and seventies when many of the Western powers had some kind of welfare state thing happening with a corollary largesse in foreign aid available to be corruptly diverted and siphoned of by Third World government insiders, these days it is slim pickings indeed, especially following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc that used to provide such a slush fund for opportunist tin pot dictators who clung on to power by claiming to be "fighting communists"- these days the neo-liberal regimes are that much more tight fisted and Western tax payers that much more vigilant how their funds are spent by assorted kleptocracies in the South. No wonder the Biwotts and Mois were busy grabbing toilets and nursery school playgrounds to boost their diminishing ill gotten swag.
The team which came to power with Kibaki quickly found out two things- there was precious little left to loot- and paradoxically there was MORE to plunder in the future as Kenya remained right on schedule for a major economic miracle with all the finds in natural resources. The policy and trade shifts to China reflect a desire to cash in on China's thirst for African energy sources and a desire to move away from the stricter scrutiny of Western donor agencies.
To my mind, if we contextualize the NAK-LDP wrangles against this wider global economic canvass we can then begin to understand the obsession with cabinet positions, state appointments and bolstering of ethnic and political power bases in relation to the "national economy" and the organs of government.
Kibaki does not want an Imperial Presidency because he was born a dictator- oh no. He wants those powers so that he can boost his personal and class positions. Whether they admit or not, the MEGA folks are doing in cultural and economic sphere is just a corollary of what is happening with the attempt of the NAK cabal seize control of the neo-colonial state.
The fact that the neo-colonial state is still predicated on ethno-class patron/client dynamics explains why our so called “national politics” is so tribalized. It has little to do with the narrow personal ambitions of a Mwai Kibaki, a Musikari Kombo, a Raila Odinga, a Charity Ngilu, a Wangari Maathai, a Simeon Nyachae, a Kalonzo Musyoka, an Uhuru Kenyatta, a William Ruto.
To this extent therefore, there is strictly speaking NO Gikuyu, Luo, Kalenjin, Kamba, Luhyia, Miji Kenda or Muhindi agenda.
What we have instead is a generalized kinyanganyiro among our country's mabepari uchwara and wannabe makomprado which has fissured along factional, regional, and personal allegience lines. In other words if you take the LDP for example, you see four main contingents of the petit and comprador bourgeoisie- the Luo, the Kamba, the Mijikenda, the Swahili, the Luhyia elite looking for their vehicle that will supplant the GEMA dominated NAK faction with its Gusii riddled FORD-People facing off, on and against a largely Bukusu dominated FORD-Kenya which of course cannot ignore the predominantly Kalenjin/Somali etc cabal that is the remnants of the old KANU.
When these factions duke it out against each other superficial, and dare I say simple-minded punditry I often see online does not delve deeper than the spelling of so and so's last name.
When for example, a Simeon Nyachae decides to cut a secret deal with Kibaki, he is not exactly thinking- OK, let us stick it to the Luos. Oh No. Instead, Nyachae is taking stock of his Sansora business empire and wondering- if I get into that cabinet and get appointed Energy minister, for example, can I make sure one of my “boys” is placed in a strategic position once Kenya starts drilling for oil? Can I make my friend Ochieng, Njoroge, Patel or Ahmed becomes a key director in Tiomin Kenya? In order to do that, I must make sure I have some of my boys in that government. As Nyachae, I probably secretly despise Mwai Kibaki having tracked his history of indecisiveness over four decades but I need him now. So I will go. But I better not tell that Communist Secretary General of mine- he can embarrass men public. So it comes to pass that Nyachae is one day made a minister. But have the broad masses of the Abagusii benefited directly or even indirectly?
Of course not.
Time and time again we get bogged down by the overpersonalized sideshows I have alluded to above forgetting the kernel, the essence of it all and then you see Luos shaking their virtual fists at Gikuyus; Waislamu fending off the babbling far right evangelical Christians. More often than not it has been my position that the more rabid a person is tribalistic online, the more that person is either in cahoots with one of the elitist big shots or is angling for influence or leverage with the same if they are still out in the cold. Knowing the number of Kenyans abroad preparing to enter parliament come 2007 on this or that ticket makes it easier to understand the daily acts of propagandizing to push this of that electoral platform of this or that big party chief.
And when we do that we somehow let slip under the radar the geo-political interests of the United States for example.
Swali: how does the attempt to build a frontline state against terror in Africa facilitate, encourage the rabid Islamophobic Power Pointed hate speech?
In the current contestations about the upcoming referendum, matters have been overly simplified, in an unhinged reductionist binge, especially in many of our online forums.
Read superficially one may mistake the rabid outpourings of the so called Kenya Church to represent the views of the majority of Kenyan Christians in fact the contrary is the case.
I was reading Tuesday's papers this Monday evening about half an hour ago (it is now 18:28:12, August 29th when I write this particular paragraph) according to the computer clock on the right hand corner of this i-Mac and I just saw that the Catholics are going to make the official stand about the referendum on Tuesday, August 30th, and the Anglicans are still dithering this away and that away. In other words, two of the largest contingents of Kenyan Christians ARE NOT signatories of the NO! Manifesto of the self-described “ Kenya Church”.
So if the mainstream Kenyan Christians have NOT YET SPOKEN OUT PUBLICLY as a united entity, then who is the “Kenya Church” speaking for?
Clearly for forces which do not include the Catholics, the Anglicans, the Baptists and I would surmise a whole bunch of the independent churches like the Legio Maria, Akorino, Nomiya, Israel Ninevah, Hera and a whole bunch of others.
We know that prominent church leaders like Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a Nzeki of the Catholics and Rev. Mutava Musyimi of the Baptists and Rev. Njoya of the PCEA have either not said anything one way or another but are very unlikely to join forces with the LDP/KANU led NO forces whichever way they decide.
I am in the NO camp, as are many of my Marxist, Pan Africanist and Natioalist ATHEIST comrades. Of course several of my Marxist, Pan Africanist and Nationalist ATHEIST comrades are also in the YES camp while a third group of my Marxist, Pan Africanist and Nationalist ATHEIST comrades are in the Boycott the Referendum camp- so even within the Kenyan Left it is not a simple black and white issue which divides neatly along ideological lines. You can tell that those of us in the Kenyan Left are struggling gently and not so gently among ourselves as we try and find out why there is such a diversity of approaches among comrades and friends who basically see Kenya from the same broad prisms.
This is the context I am coming from when I publicly call on the NO camp to look honestly and candidly within its broad self to find out who are the contingents and what is powering their NO campaign.
Now at least two people-one a veteran Socialist comrade in Nairobi with whom I work very closely and other a anti-abortion, anti-gay Christian LDP storm trooper with whom we have often jousted and frequently agreed with online- urged me to proceed with caution.
The Socialist comrade is of the opinion that right now what is important is to consolidate the NO camp and not get bogged down in hair-splitting dissections of the differences among the supporters of the NO camp. He still respects my conviction and intention to problematize the strange alliance that brings the disparate NO forces together.
The Born Again Pro-Lifer Homophobic LDP supporter on the other hand says the same things, albeit in a more MENACING way as I shall reveal mometarily.
You know, soon after I posted my digital essay exposing the hate speech of those far right Christian fanatics I logged on to my Jukwaa account and found a private message waiting for me. Now I am not going to reveal the name of the author. But I want to talk about the contents of what he spoke to me about because they encapsulate the serious concerns I have with these Far Right Kenyan Christians who are in BOTH camps:
On religious courts etc and the NO strategy
« Message sent on Yesterday at 5:48am »
I find it necessary to write a few lines to you in order to map the territory and hopefully avert a full-scale online war that may go beyond the religious issues into the wider social arena.
I concur that we ought NOT to engage in wars about religion. Not now. The so called ‘charismatic churches’ are going to bring in a fair chunk of the ‘no’ vote. That is all that matters to me at the moment.
From a tactical point of view, that is all that should matter.
This is because there is a more important national good that will come out of the NO vote - whatever its basis. That is why focusing on what you call the ‘rightwing agenda behind the Christian opposition to Kadhis courts’ is bad politics, poor activism and generally ill-timed.
There is no point alienating in such a potentially significant ally at this point in time.
What you are doing is almost akin to saying “If you are voting NO because of the religious courts, then don’t even vote at all”, this I find disingenuous.
However, as you will note from the (NO) campaign in the next few weeks, attacking the ‘religious courts’ in general terms is fair game because Kenyans did not ask for them and while acceptable to Christians, it does not alienate the Muslims.
In equal terms, potentially emotive issues like abortion, gay marriages etc are kosher for the NO campaign because many Kenyans are conservative and find them unacceptable and will be willing to vote NO on account of their inclusion. We will therefore use these issues on the streets, pulpits, rallies, newspapers and yes…online.
Why am I saying all these? Because I have noted that while you are a fairly principled ‘social justice activist’, your position on a lot of these issues are very unpopular on the ground. They bespeak a level of political naiveté that only many years abroad can breed. On the other hand I am more street-smart, sometimes Machiavellian and will occasionally defer to populist ideas to push my position and bring in the votes. These are the ideas we are selling to the KANU-LDP high command.
Make no mistake – this constitution will be opposed because its process is illegitimate, the views in the executive, devolution etc do not tally with Wanjiku’s views and so on … but the things that will bring in most of the votes are the ones that I have alluded to earlier.
My appeal to you therefore is that having arrived at the correct conclusion – that a NO vote must be returned – it will be pragmatic and prudent to tone down virulent criticism on controversial issues that will nonetheless build the no vote.
While admittedly online essaying is limited to a relatively small, largely foreign based population – who are unlikely to vote in the referendum anyway and is therefore at the end of the day ineffectual in moving populations, this is an endgame and we are not taking any chances.
Please make the right choices.
(Name With Held)
Now I consider the above to be a thinly veiled threat, made more audacious by the fact that the person felt they could come directly to a public and democratic forum that I moderate and directly give me an ultimatum to shut up or else.
What I find even more astonishing is that someone who is very familiar with my history, my politics and my outspoken nature has THE NERVE to try and blackmail into silence.
Well, it appears as if the opposite has just happened, they have revved and stirred me up. Amenitafuta akanipata. Ametonesha tena kidonda.
That message has convinced me that I should requote that Lenin quote:
"...The (wananchi) do need unity. And the important thing to remember is that nobody but themselves will “give” them unity, that nobody can help them achieve unity. Unity cannot be “promised”—that would be vain boasting, self-deception; unity cannot be “created” out of “agreements” between intellectualist groups. To think so is a profoundly sad, naive, and ignorant delusion.Unity must be won...Nothing is easier than to write the word “unity” in yard-long letters, to promise it and to “proclaim” oneself an advocate of unity...."
Flowing from the above it should be obvious that I am NOT one of those people who believe necessarily that “ the enemy of your enemy is your friend”. The enemy of your enemy can decide to take out your enemy simply because THEY want a BETTER SHOT at YOU.
As a Kenyan patriot, democrat and socialist I want to present you with Oloo's Nguzo Saba za Kujenga Kenya Mpya- Seven Fundamental Principles for Building the New Kenya:
- Kenya belongs to all who live, work, identify and embrace it- indigenous African, South Asian, Asian, Arab, European, Mixed Heritage, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, African Traditionalist, Atheist, Agnostic, woman, man, child, conservative, radical, moderate etc;
- We have created the nation of Kenya out of our common anti-colonial and anti-imperialist experience to the point where we are more than a sum of the ethnic groups which live within our borders: our specific national history is what distinguishes a Somali Sijui (Kenyan ethnic Somali) from a national of Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia and Djibouti; what distinguishes a Luo from Kenya from their counterparts in Tanzania and Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia; a Maasai from Kenya and a Maasai from Tanzania; a Samia from Kenya from a Samia from Uganda; an Ismaili from Kenya and an Ismaili from Tanzania; a Digo from Kenya and a Digo from Tanzania;
- Our struggle against the one party dictatorship has dictated a common democratic future for us which transcends tribe, race, religion, region, gender, age, class, ideology, sexual orientation etc;
- Our collective experience of living in a globalized world has created an unshakeable unity between Kenyans who live within the country's borders and those who live, study, work, commute and visit over 100 countries around the Dunia;
- Our national identity as Kenyans is meaningless without regional East African economic integretion; resumption of peace in the Horn of Africa, democratic development in the Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi and other theatres of African civil and internal conflicts;
- That our colonial and neo-colonial ties to the Western imperialist countries does NOT negate the possibility of building more humane, equal trade, technological, business, scientific and cultural ties with North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, even as we forge new and independent relationships with China, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, India, Vietnam, South Africa, Libya, United Arab Emirates, Korea and any other country that we so deem fit to explore;
- Our unbroken history of peaceful resolution to internal political conflicts which has so far seen Kenya avert the disastrous coup- counter coup syndrome can only be guaranteed if we succeed in endorsing, ratifying and implementing a new democratic constitutional dispensation that lays the legal sine qua non to a progressive, united, non-sexist, anti-tribal, prosperous, democratic, diverse, secular and ecumenical social justice trajectory as we reclaim our right to determine our collective destiny.
Flowing from the above NGUZO SABA ZA KUJENGA KENYA MPYA as I call them ( yes, I did come up with these specific WORDING, did not invent the concepts) it is obvious to me that I am NOT one of those Malaya Vibarakala Vigeu Geu wa Kisiasa Wanao Yumba Yumba.
In other words, I choose carefully who I jump in bed with. I am a cautious, but ultimately passionate lover if you know what I am saying.
You know there are people out there who will sleep with ANYTHING that moves- human or non-human.
There are people who get frisky, hot and bothered within fifteen minutes of chatting up a total stranger ( who could be a deranged serial killer on the run) in a random matatu.
Then you have the Hit and Run, Come in Three Seconds, Never Call Back Heart Break Specialists.
And then they are those Omnisexuals who are into orgies and other sexual bacchanals.
As for me I believe in going out on a few dates before deciding to get into a relationship. Now we know, that NOT all relationships lead to the altar. Still because of ayaki and what not, you can not just whip it out and do it with just anyone ati because they told you- nataka tujuane kimwili nani.
Please make no mistake:
I am into nyaf nyaf Big Time, I love driving downtown too, but not just in any motokaa, ala!
Now I know the Sexophobes out there are saying, Oloo you can be so VULGAR. And I say to you Mr or Ms. Hypocrite:
I love the two early 1990s hits by the all female African-American hip hop group Salt 'N' Pepa:
Now for those people who still do not get this segue, this "shocking" tangent let me tell you a little hadithi:
Once upon a year, way way back in ancient 1990s when I was still living in Toronto, I went to the second floor of the OISE building on 252 Bloor St. West to a Zimbabwean Activist Living With AIDS. She was speaking to a predominantly International Development NGOs. And she started by praising these Canadian non-profits overseas. Then came her bombshell: YOU ARE HAVE ZERO IMPACT! No one is attending your seminars because they are busy grappling with UKIMWI. She exhorted us to ALWAYS assume that at least ONE PERSON in the audince was HIV/Positive and therefore customize all your messages to include their concerns.
How far have we done that? Either from the REACTIONARY YES side or the PROGRESSIVE NO side? How many of those ministers and MPs are themselves HIV infected? I know of at least one cabinet minister and three MPs.
Of course in both camps there are millions of HIV infected supporters. Which draft will make sure that minister and those MPs and those millions of HIV positive campaigners live a more dignfied lives?