Thursday, September 26, 2013

Oloo on the Westgate Tragedy

A Digital Essay by Onyango Oloo in Nairobi


Some of my aunties, friends and  associates thought I was among the dozens of unaccounted for at the Westgate Mall. A few even assumed the worst when my phone kept ringing and ringing. I later saw missed calls from Sydney, Australia, Toronto, Canada and Manchester in the UK.
I was not even in Nairobi when the carnage in Westlands erupted. At the precise moment when death cries rented the air in the Kenyan capital, I was hovering in the air en route from Mombasa on a domestic flight. Some professional work had taken me down to the Coast on Thursday. It was supposed to be a one day trip, but I had extended my stay to catch up with relatives and friends in my adopted hometown. I was  due to fly back early Friday evening but had managed to miss my flight due to a very weird and interesting story that I will not relay today.
That is how I found myself sitting near the bus driver of the City Shuttle who kept updating us about some breaking story that he was following on Twitter. The few of us in that vehicle that Saturday afternoon were soon in on the loop of the developing massacre taking place in the posh suburb to the west of where we were near the airport.
I have deliberately kept silent on what the Al Shabaab tweeting correspondents bizarrely referred to as  the “Westgate Spectacle.”

I did so for a number of  reasons.
For one, for once, I wanted to do be the ONE blogger who DID NOT blog about a breaking story.  

Nowadays we are so caught up by cyberspace, telephonic gizmos and  networked gadgetry that we often forget to make that simple, organic, analog face to face, person to person human encounter. You can’t always buzz, tweet, text, Facebook, Google Plus your way through existence you know…
Secondly, being the urban Nairobian I have reluctantly conceded to be, I was part of the story.

It could have been me at Westgate.

Just ten days ago, one of the security  guards who was the first to be shot dead by the hooded youthful marauders  helped me negotiate a  realistic cab fare home to my place in Eastlands near Embakasi on the other side of town when he witnessed how some vulturous taxi operators were trying to gouge me simply because the cabbies assumed I was Nigerian, and therefore fabulously wealthy on the mere fact that I was putting on African clothes and had some  Afrocentric paraphernalia on.

The female professional colleague with whom we  were facilitating focus group discussions at the Mombasa  corporate client happens to stay literally around the corner from Westgate.

 I needed to hear  her firm voice reassuring me of her safety.
Thirdly, I wanted to be a news consumer, for  a chance to be informed by our sisters and brothers who work in daily or even  weekly print publications as well as radio, television and the internet. And then I wanted to monitor state propaganda.
Fourthly, as someone who administers a  popular online discussion forum and maintains about eight social media blogs, I wanted to SUAL-in other words, Shut Up And Listen to what other Kenyans and friends of Kenya were saying in these cyberspaces including  Facebook, Twitter, online mailing lists like KPTJ and discussion groups like Mwananchi, Africa-Oped,  KenyaOnline, NVK-Mageuzi and Jukwaa.

Let me readily report that my reticence and self-imposed vow of silence has been very rewarding. It is important to occasionally  resist listening to the narcissistic crackling cackling cacophony inside our own craniums and pay attention to the conversations  unfolding around us.

To just cite two examples.

From the  KPTJ list I have  gleaned gems from the contributors there and via that forum, the perceptive perspective  by brilliant Kenyan writer analysts like the Nairobi-based Parselelo ole Kantai who is an editor with the influential Africa Report and  the US-based Ken Opalo who is pursuing his doctorate studies at Stanford University.

Bunge la Mwananchi shared a compilation of revealing tweets from the al Shabaab terror outfit itself.
Back in more familiar background, veteran contributors in  Jukwaa like Jakaswanga, Kathure, Otish Otish, Dineo, Kamale, Denno, Amadain, Mwamburi, b6k, Podp, Patriotism 101, Mank to name just a handful, have all added to my knowledge and understanding.
I was proud that my own party, the Social Democratic Party of Kenya, was among the first organizations to issue a statement condemning atrocity and expressing empathy with the victims and survivors.
Offline, I have been reading a whole lot. I accompanied a  very good friend to the Aga Khan Hospital on  Sunday and  I saw for myself how selfless dedicated members of Kenya’s  South Asian community are working tireless to tend to those affected and afflicted. My friend, one of this country’s most respected researchers, also provided me with very deep and extensive material on what is going on in Somalia for which  I am very grateful.
Having imbibed all that,  I think I am now ready to jump in on the debate on the Westgate Terrorist Attack . I  may have very little to add to that reservoir of knowledge in the public domain, but nevertheless  I will add those puny tit bits.

But let me start  at a strange and surreal place.
The tears flowing from Kenyans during the Westgate horror easily rival the volumes  flowing through Lake  Victoria.
So I will not weep.
Instead I want to invite my readers, browsers and followers  to chuckle.
Even to smile, chortle,  guffaw, in other words to LOL, that internet short hand for “Laugh Out Loud.”

Do not be startled.
I am not making a tasteless joke in the middle of a funeral ceremony.
No.
Bear with me.
I just want to take you back to the so called “Special” session in the Kenya National Assembly to hear live from our elected representatives holding forth on the Westgate  tragedy.

Did you have the chance, or more correctly the  misfortune of seeing and hearing these jokers?
 
Well, I did.

And I had to pause at some point, to vomit in disgust.
Not all of them were terrible.
There were  some noble contributions to cite Mvita MP Abdulswamad Sharriff Nassir as an example.
Let  me not bore you with verbatim accounts.
I will give you a snippet.

One “Honourable” member proposed that a  very high wall should be erected along our northern border to keep out Somalis. Another xenophobic one suggested that henceforth, landlords should strictly screen and limit the number of “foreigners” residing in Kenyan  rented units. Yet another clueless one urged  the Kenya government to  expedite the passage of  the much discredited  Anti-Terrorism Act.

Let me stop there.

The macabre  farce of the legislators was enhanced by comical ineptitude of the newly minted cabinet secretaries like Joseph Ole Lenku, in the charge of internal security who appeared, totally out of his depth during their periodic press briefings which were more like amateurish spin doctoring sessions than occasions to provide timely updates as Kenya ploughed through its worst terrorist crisis since the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi.

Clearly Kenyans learned more from Robert Alai, the enfant terrible of Kenyan twittersphere who has been shuttling from one mainstream international interview to another while keeping a steady stream of updates about the goings on in the ill fated Westgate Mall.

One of the most startling revelations is that the September 21st attack was NOT a heavily guarded secret which came as a shock to all Kenyans.

On the contrary Al Shabab had trumpeted the occurrence more than two months previously, in their OFFICIAL Twitter  account (albeit one of several which  has been either suspended or shut down).

This is what the Somali terror group announced on July 19, 2013:



And this was not a one off announcement.

Below is  a sample of other Twitter feeds from Al Shabaab, posted regularly throughout the duration of the Westgate Mall assault and hostage taking situation:


  Expand
    1. our lawyers are trying to deal the arrest of the mercenary soldier, hell be freed soon #westgateattack
    2. update: weve got permission to disclose details about the op stinger, one of merceneries whos helping our mujahideen squad is arrested
    3. update: our high profile asset just reached the safe house. alhamdulilah! #westgateattack
    4. Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt #westgateattack
    5. In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity #westgateattack
    6. Move swift as the Wind and closely-formed as the Wood. Attack like the Fire and be still as the Mountain #westgateattack
    7. update: we lost transmission with our mujahid who just got in the mall #westgateattack
    8. this is payback for people being killed in somalia, iraq, afghanistan, pakistan. the west and its puppet kenya should calculate the risks
    9. imagine hearing music, gun shots, grown up men screaming like women! #westgateattack
    10. yall fools, kdf told the media theres hostages in the mall, did they vanished into thin air? how convenient #westgateattack
    11. Do not wait until you find them. Rather, seek and besiege them in their areas and forts, gather intelligence about them in the various roads

    12. heads up, high potential asset en route to our safe house in nairobi, were heightening security #westgateattack
    13. update: al qaeda on contact with alshabaab discussing technical details #westgateattack
    14. #kenya can you smell what alshabaab is cooking? #westgateattack
    15. update: mujahideen squads are on stand by to carry out the next attack, warming up. #westgateattack
    16. update: our mujahideen who successfully carried out operation stinger are now off duty and ready to resume their lives back in US UK/EUROPE


    fun facts: who is anwar al awliki? #westgateattack
  1. update: our informant on site the kufaars are praying their idols #westgateattack
  2. even the yankees drones couldnt predict whats gonna happen! #westgateattack
    Expand
    1. update: our informant on site the kufaars are praying their idols #westgateattack
    2. even the yankees drones couldnt predict whats gonna happen! #westgateattack
    3. وَٱقۡعُدُواْ لَهُمۡ ڪُلَّ مَرۡصَدٍ۬‌ۚ فَإِن تَابُواْ وَأَقَامُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتَوُاْ ٱلزَّڪَوٰةَ فَخَلُّواْ سَبِيلَهُمۡ‌ۚ
    4. فَإِذَا ٱنسَلَخَ ٱلۡأَشۡہُرُ ٱلۡحُرُمُ فَٱقۡتُلُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ حَيۡثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمۡ وَخُذُوهُمۡ وَٱحۡصُرُوهُمۡ وَٱقۡعُدُواْ لَهُمۡ ڪُل
    5. convo bewtween mujahideens sitting right beside me: ''we should talk with our bro in palestine, we really need few missiles'' #westgateattac
    6. godane to one of the mujahideen: ''what happened in westgate is just a drill'' true tho #westgateattack
    7. learn your lessons people it aint too late #westgateattack
    8. wheres your god now when you need him the most? cause youre worshiping idols and false gods! #westgateattack
    9. lemme tease ya people, how about if we arrange a part at hilton?! #westgateattack
    10. and kill them everywhere you find em! #westgateattack
    11. read the signs people! the next attack will be huge and the world will go crazy! this is our time #westgateattack
    12. nothing makes us happier than killing infidels which we are proud to do till the doomsday #westgateattack
    13. alas! if you could see the look on their faces! #westgateattack
    14. satisfy my curiosity, how could your troops murder our own people and panic when we retaliate, aint this what you wnated? #westgateattack
    15. we are clear about one thing, this will keep going unless you remove your troops from somalia #westgatattack
    16. we want to remind you that we warned your gov, last min we talked with uhuru kneyatta and his response was 'do what you are capable'
    17. lets play a game: a mall that aint a mall but you call it a mall! decipher it #westgateattack
    18. if your gov is telling the truth let em show the freed hostages, our informant double checked their fate #westgateattack



      update: we fixed technical probs and were back on contact with our assets #westgateattack



To back up the hypothesis of a prior official state knowledge of the Westgate attack, Nairobi’s flamboyant, often controversial  


Senator Mike Sonko

was reported by at least two of the country’s major newspapers as claiming that he was approached by at least two women to report of an impending attack and that he contacted the National Intelligence Service which did NOTHING about these snippets of advance warnings:

REVELATIONS: I told government about Westgate Attack
Posted in: News|September 25, 2013   


NAIROBI; KENYA : Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko sensationally told the Senate that security organs and intelligence officers were aware of an impending attack on key areas in Nairobi, including the Westgate Mall.

Sonko claimed that he had helped two women of either Asian or Arabic origin to offer information to police on Al-Shabaab militiamen who were targeting sections of Nairobi. He gave the revelations as the Senate took time off its business to discuss the terror attack on the mall.

He said the women had approached him three months ago with information to the effect that the gang, which had rented a house in Parklands and Westlands, were planning a major attack.

“They mentioned Westgate Mall, Village Market, Parliament and the Kenyatta International Conference Centre as their targets,” claimed Sonko. The Motion was moved by Leader of Majority Kithure Kindiki, who termed the attack a national disaster.

Attacking members of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), Sonko told the House that after getting the information from the two women, he assisted them to record their statements with the police and the intelligence officers for further investigations.

Shock many

He said the two women were initially living with the gang in the rented houses but had escaped after being showed the items that the suspects were preparing for the attack.

Though the Senator declined to give the exact details that the two women gave the police, he said that he was ready to record a statement to that effect.

“I know I will shock many people here. These people have remained in this area planning the attack for about three months and despite the investigators getting that information they could not quell the attack,” said Sonko.

The senators faulted the country’s intelligence services even as they hailed the security organs over the manner in which they had handled the attack. “Instead of the intelligence officers keeping busy tapping our mobile phones, NIS should be employing that vigour towards arresting crime,” said Minority Deputy Whip Janet Ong’era.

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi hailed Kenyans over their strong spirit during the tragedy.

-Standard Newspaper
It is also in the public domain that the plotters and attackers may have entered the country several months prior to the Westgate outrage and may have even rented space in the mall itself from where they carried out  meticulous reconnaissance and surveillance operations, perfecting their conspiracy.

It is also becoming evident that the late  



  






Samantha Leithwaite, the  so called “White  Widow” or known in East  African jihadist circles as “Dada Mzungu” was one of the key ring leaders and commanders of the  operation having relocated to Kenya and Somalia  as many as three years ago.

Yet, she was certainly not unknown to the  Kenyan security and intelligence corps having been investigated for  her possible role in earlier terrorist attacks in the port city of Mombasa a couple of years ago.

Even though the picture which is emerging is one of a lethargic, corrupt and incompetent national spy and counter insurgency network, when one looks at the larger geo-political  picture, what one ogles is a more sinister, cynical and malevolent scenario.

What if the security and intelligence mandarins at the helm of the National Intelligence Service  purposely chose to turn a blind eye to the looming Westgate Massacre?

What  if they deliberately allowed the storming of Westgate; the  abduction and killing of unarmed civilians, including small children to happen?

What if some dark forces clinically prayed for Al Shabaab to succeed in their bloody  vengeful  mission?

I know the  choir masters and members of the  “We Are One “ Choral Group are  quaking, apoleptic with shock and anger at Onyango Oloo’s audacity in even contemplating such a “ disloyal” “unpatriotic” and “treasonous” idea.

Well, in case I was not clear, let me say it again:

IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOME DARK FORCES STEEPED IN THE DUNGEONS OF IMPUNITY WANTED TO ADVANCE THEIR SELFISH INTEREST BY ENSURING THAT THE WESTGATE MASSACRE TOOK PLACE.

  Now who would do such a thing, you may ask.

Let me answer you.

The same folks who want to derail the ICC trials. 

The same folks who want Kenya to get out of the Rome Statute. 

The same folks who are fighting the implementation of the  2010 Constitution tooth and nail, night and day.


They have everything to gain from the insecurity, fear, paranoia and panic generated by the Westgate tragedy.


 Don’t you see some of them clamouring for the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act?


Don’t you see them  shouting about  more law, more order, more police, more security, more fascism?


Ironically, I do NOT think that President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is even part of this conspiracy. 

If he was, he certainly would not have allowed his own SON, his elder SISTER or his NEPHEW, the son of his first COUSIN to be at the Westgate Mall on the day of the atrocity.

I also do NOT think that NIS Director General Gichangi is part of the evil plot. My informants who are well connected, intimate to me that part of the outcomes some of the dark forces are  counting on is the OUSTER of Gichangi and his replacement by someone they feel more reliable.

I am told that Gichangi himself informed the police of all the early warnings he got about the impending attack on Westgate. This seems  to backed up by the following  news report in the Star:
 'NIS GAVE ADVANCE WESTGATE WARNING'

THE National Intelligence Service gave advance warning of the Westgate attack, according to some security officers.

Gen Michael Gichangi, NIS Director General, is due to meet MPs of the Defense and Foreign Relations committee this morning.

Gichangi apparently would prefer to testify in public but Defense committee chairman Ndungu Gethenji (Tetu) has indicated that the meeting will be closed to the media.

Two NIS officers who did not want their identities revealed yesterday told the Star that their organisation had given advance warning of the attack to Inspector General of Police Service David Kimaiyo and Criminal Investigations Department director Ndegwa Muhoro.

They sensationally claimed that Kimaiyo and Muhoro should be investigated for failing to act on intelligence briefs given to them.

They also claimed that some senior officers within the Office of the President should be investigated for “suppressing” intelligence reports.

They said NIS was not to blame for the Westgate attack that has claimed over 100 lives.

It has also emerged that a policewoman has recorded a statement after her brother who works for the NIS warned her not to visit Westgate on Saturday because of an impending attack. The NIS officer is being sought for interrogation.

The pregnant policewoman regularly went window shopping in Westgate on Saturdays.

"She has told police that her brother who is a NIS officer warned her not to visit Westgate that Saturday because she would not be able to run with her bulging tummy," a senior officer involved in the investigation said yesterday.

The policewoman was picked up from her home on Tuesday night and taken to CID headquarters on Kiambu road where she was interrogated for four hours before being allowed to go home.

The NIS officers told the Star yesterday that NIS Director General Michael Gichangi was willing to testify in the open in today’s meeting with the Defense committee of the National Assembly.

“I can assure you that the director general is willing to restore the image of the intelligence service because of the negative publicity it has received due to the Westgate attack and the many previous security lapses in the country,” said one NIS officer.

“We understand that the director general will be appearing before the committee tomorrow (Thursday) and it is his desire that the meeting is open to the media so that the public can get to know who failed in the line of duty. He wants to clean our name and set the record straight,” the officer said.

The two officers said the NIS had also warned the police about the danger before the Baragoi massacre but the police ignored the intelligence reports.

However Defense committee chairman Ndungu Gethenji (Tetu) has insisted that the meeting will be closed to the public and the media.

“No, it is not open due to the ongoing security operations,” said Gethenji in a short text reply.

However Kimini MP Chris Wamalwa, a member of the Defense committee, said that the meeting should be open because there was nothing to hide.

Members can vote to overturn the chairman’s unilateral decision, Wamalwa told the Star on Wednesday before he left the country for official duty.

“It is wrong for the chairman to imply that his unilateral decision may be taken to mean the collective resolution of the members. We will be proposing to discuss the conduct of the chairman and these are some of the issues,” said Wamalwa.

Typically, the committee’s meetings are held behind closed doors except for the vetting of principal secretaries.

Last week the committee met Defense Cabinet Secretary Raychalle Omamo in private to hear a report on Kenya’s border security with Somalia.

Yesterday MPs questioned the competence of the NIS and called for its total overhaul and commended the police for their rescue work at Westgate. They argued that the huge allocations to the NIS were not commensurate with its output.

“The country must get to the root cause of the matter. It was a horrendous act that calls for the dismantling of the gang. It can only be defeated by an efficient intelligence system in place,” said Asman Kamama, chairman of the House committee on Administration and National Security during an adjournment motion on the Westgate attack.

Meanwhile Israeli, German and American investigators are assisting their Kenyan counterparts in a forensic audit of Westgate on the fifth day after the attacks.

"We strongly believe that there is an insignificant number of bodies still remaining in the building. We are conducting forensic investigations which is an elaborate process that includes fingerprinting bodies, DNA process and ballistic examination. We expect the process to take not less than seven days," Internal Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said yesterday. He was accompanied by Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi and his deputy Lt Gen. Samson Mwathethe, Director of CID Muhoro Ndegwa, NIS boss Gen Michael Gichangi and Cabinet secretaries Amina Mohammed and Raychalle Omamo.

The stench of rotting flesh from the collapsed building occasionally reached the nearby Oshwal Centre as the forensic team started going through Westgate looking for booby traps, bodies and explosives.

Five military armoured personnel carriers and six military trucks sped out of Westgate at 11am yesterday indicated that the siege had finally come to an end.

'NIS GAVE ADVANCE WESTGATE WARNING'


Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 00:00 -- BY DAVID MWERE AND DOMINIC WABALA
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku  flanked by Defence CS Rachael Omamo,Foreign affairs CS Amina Mohammed,IG David Kimaiyo,NIS director Micheal Gichangi and  State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu   the updates the  press  on the update on  the progress of operations at the Westgate Shopping Mall.. Photo/PSCU
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku flanked by Defence CS Rachael Omamo,Foreign affairs CS Amina Mohammed,IG David Kimaiyo,NIS director Micheal Gichangi and State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu the updates the press on the update on the progress of operations at the Westgate Shopping Mall.. Photo/PSCU
NIS Director General Michael Gichangi at Westgate during a press Conference yesterday. Photo/Monicah Mwangi
NIS Director General Michael Gichangi at Westgate during a press Conference yesterday. Photo/Monicah Mwangi
THE National Intelligence Service gave advance warning of the Westgate attack, according to some security officers.
Gen Michael Gichangi, NIS Director General, is due to meet MPs of the Defense and Foreign Relations committee this morning.
Gichangi apparently would prefer to testify in public but Defense committee chairman Ndungu Gethenji (Tetu) has indicated that the meeting will be closed to the media.
Two NIS officers who did not want their identities revealed yesterday told the Star that their organisation had given advance warning of the attack to Inspector General of Police Service David Kimaiyo and Criminal Investigations Department director Ndegwa Muhoro.
They sensationally claimed that Kimaiyo and Muhoro should be investigated for failing to act on intelligence briefs given to them.
They also claimed that some senior officers within the Office of the President should be investigated for “suppressing” intelligence reports.
They said NIS was not to blame for the Westgate attack that has claimed over 100 lives.
It has also emerged that a policewoman has recorded a statement after her brother who works for the NIS warned her not to visit Westgate on Saturday because of an impending attack. The NIS officer is being sought for interrogation.
The pregnant policewoman regularly went window shopping in Westgate on Saturdays.
"She has told police that her brother who is a NIS officer warned her not to visit Westgate that Saturday because she would not be able to run with her bulging tummy," a senior officer involved in the investigation said yesterday.
The policewoman was picked up from her home on Tuesday night and taken to CID headquarters on Kiambu road where she was interrogated for four hours before being allowed to go home.
The NIS officers told the Star yesterday that NIS Director General Michael Gichangi was willing to testify in the open in today’s meeting with the Defense committee of the National Assembly.
“I can assure you that the director general is willing to restore the image of the intelligence service because of the negative publicity it has received due to the Westgate attack and the many previous security lapses in the country,” said one NIS officer.
“We understand that the director general will be appearing before the committee tomorrow (Thursday) and it is his desire that the meeting is open to the media so that the public can get to know who failed in the line of duty. He wants to clean our name and set the record straight,” the officer said.
The two officers said the NIS had also warned the police about the danger before the Baragoi massacre but the police ignored the intelligence reports.
However Defense committee chairman Ndungu Gethenji (Tetu) has insisted that the meeting will be closed to the public and the media.
“No, it is not open due to the ongoing security operations,” said Gethenji in a short text reply.
However Kimini MP Chris Wamalwa, a member of the Defense committee, said that the meeting should be open because there was nothing to hide.
Members can vote to overturn the chairman’s unilateral decision, Wamalwa told the Star on Wednesday before he left the country for official duty.
“It is wrong for the chairman to imply that his unilateral decision may be taken to mean the collective resolution of the members. We will be proposing to discuss the conduct of the chairman and these are some of the issues,” said Wamalwa.
Typically, the committee’s meetings are held behind closed doors except for the vetting of principal secretaries.
Last week the committee met Defense Cabinet Secretary Raychalle Omamo in private to hear a report on Kenya’s border security with Somalia.
Yesterday MPs questioned the competence of the NIS and called for its total overhaul and commended the police for their rescue work at Westgate. They argued that the huge allocations to the NIS were not commensurate with its output.
“The country must get to the root cause of the matter. It was a horrendous act that calls for the dismantling of the gang. It can only be defeated by an efficient intelligence system in place,” said Asman Kamama, chairman of the House committee on Administration and National Security during an adjournment motion on the Westgate attack.
Meanwhile Israeli, German and American investigators are assisting their Kenyan counterparts in a forensic audit of Westgate on the fifth day after the attacks.
"We strongly believe that there is an insignificant number of bodies still remaining in the building. We are conducting forensic investigations which is an elaborate process that includes fingerprinting bodies, DNA process and ballistic examination. We expect the process to take not less than seven days," Internal Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku said yesterday. He was accompanied by Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi and his deputy Lt Gen. Samson Mwathethe, Director of CID Muhoro Ndegwa, NIS boss Gen Michael Gichangi and Cabinet secretaries Amina Mohammed and Raychalle Omamo.
The stench of rotting flesh from the collapsed building occasionally reached the nearby Oshwal Centre as the forensic team started going through Westgate looking for booby traps, bodies and explosives.
Five military armoured personnel carriers and six military trucks sped out of Westgate at 11am yesterday indicated that the siege had finally come to an end.
- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-137366/nis-gave-advance-westgate-warning#sthash.B5xKv7BA.dpufis seems to backed up in the following Star report:

So who are the “bad guys”?


 If you can find out who is behind a clandestine plan to create a Homeland Security type of ministry and  install Kimemia at its helm then you will begin to put your finger closer to the truth.

Well, how can Onyango Oloo be so sure yet he is not part of the state, has never been close to the ODM power structure or any where near the corridors of power?


Well, how do I know that my name sake Onyango Oloo was WRONGLY accused of stealing 50, 000, 000 shillings of TNA’s money when the real culprits are close to the President’s own family? A thorough audit of TNA’s campaign finances, recently conducted by a reputable firm  completely exonerated Onyango Oloo and Winnie Nguchu from all accusations of pilfering party funds during the recent election  campaign. I challenge ANY TNA insider to prove me wrong.

But how can Onyango Oloo speak so confidently about the sinister forces over this Westgate saga?

Well, I hate to say this, but TWO YEARS AGO, this Onyango Oloo predicted the Westgate attack.

Somebody even pointed this out in a recent tweet:







Mzelles Mujaahid @KenyaCursed
Follow Follow
#westgate was predicted in @OnyangoOloo article "The quixotic invasion of Somalia will devastate kenya" Beta use ur mourning days to ponder!
05:46 AM - 25 Sep 13


This is what I said back then, on Saturday, October 22,  2011 to be exact:


There has been a lot of fervent flag waving, agitated anthem intoning and cheesy chest thumping over the last few days all across the country.

Nairobi-based television anchors have exchanged their ill-fitting suits for equally bizarre military fatigues in a pathetic attempt to reprise the recurring martial misadventures of the CNN and BBC superstars like Christiane Anampour, Nic Robertson et al.

The hyped up Kenyan jingoism and misplaced machismo and boisterous braggadocio has left an overwhelming feeling ravaging through my body: a sense of nausea and profound disgust. Excuse me while I throw up.

As our preening neo-colonial chieftains, who get their talking points from Washington, London ,Brussels and other capitals of capital, try to out Bush Bush and out Blair Blair in banging the drums of war and clanging the cymbals of foreign intervention , the hapless wananchi are reduced to an abject bleating national choir of meek sheep endorsing every propaganda sound byte of the cynical war mongers in cabinet and the self-serving parliament.

First things first.



This war is UNNECESSARY.It is ILLEGAL. It is FAKE. It is DOOMED TO FAIL.

Why is it UNNECESSARY?

What ostensibly “provoked” the impulsive invasion of Somalia by armed to the teeth Kenyan military troops was a CRIMINAL act involving the kidnapping of a couple of foreigners by bandits who could even turn out to be KENYANS, the assumption that they are definitely Somali born, bred and based Al Shabaab militants notwithstanding.

The response which could have been apt was a POLICE response; not an uncalled for massive military operation for crying out loud! The details of this suggested police intervention need not have precluded covert coordination with our security organs-Kenyan and non-Kenyan…

Why is it FAKE?

Because Kenyans have been lied to.

Contrary to the impression that this is an angry national reaction to a recent provocation, the fact of the matter is that this military operation has been in the planning pipeline for quite some time.

According to impeccable sources who are quite familiar with the inside workings of Kenya’s military, intelligence and security machinations, what is happening in Somalia is part of a detailed and coordinated IGAD joint intervention in Somalia with specific roles for Ethiopia, the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, the African Union troops and the Kenyan military.

A story published in the October 28, 2011 issue of the Africa Report cites the Kenyan political leadership at the highest echelons admitting that an earlier plan to go after Al-Shabaab covertly from Kenya using specially trained elite forces recruited from the Kenyan ethnic Somali population floundered after most of these recruits DESERTED after their training.

Far from this incursion into Somalia being propelled by a patriotic Kenyan desire to defend the country it turns out that we are just pawns in the larger US/NATO geo-political agenda to “stabilize” the Horn of Africa region in line with the wider imperialist agenda of consolidating world monopoly capital which has of late been buffeted by a severe crisis in the United States itself, the meltdown of the Euro in Europe and growing protests by the burgeoning global Occupy Wall Street inspired citizen mass actions. There is a connection between the Kenyan military foray into Oddo, Kismayu and other towns and the NATO led bombing of Libya and the ultimate brutal slaughter of Colonel Muamar Ghadaffi and his loyalists in Sirte.

Closer home, the military misadventure in Somalia may provide the excuse for some of these Kenyan political criminals in power to go for a horrendous cash grab to bolster the 2012 war chest for their various presidential bids.Think about it: What is the LEAST TRANSPARENT aspect of the Kenyan budgetary process? Allocating funds to the military and national intelligence and security services.



Using the guise and pretext of safeguarding some undefined “national security interests”, the mandarins in the Treasury, the well-connected technocrats and securocrats at DOD, the back room boys at State House, the appartchiks at the various party headquarters and the merchants of impunity in parliament and the errand boys in the civil service could very well conspire to STEAL BILLIONS OF KENYAN TAX PAYERS’ SHILLINGS with the excuse that these funds are paying for the operations in Somalia.



In a follow up digital essay, Kenya Can Still Correct Its Mistakes in Somalia posted on my blog on Friday, December 9, 2011, I went on to expose some of the lies the Kenyan state had employed:


The first big casualty of the Kenyan military foray into southern Somalia has been the truth.

Kenyan print and electronic journalists, female and male, are tumbling over each other in an insane quest to be on the front-line of regurgitating the latest doublespeak from the Kenyan propaganda machine; anxious to earn extra stripes as the most zealous zealot; the most “patriotic” parrot and the most blood thirsty member of the war mongering Kenyan fourth estate. This a point driven forcefully home by Henry Makori, a Kenyan journalist working for the widely read Pambazuka electronic social justice newsletter in a recent piece on how the Kenya is in bed with the military.

With such a fawning, sycophantic mindset the Kenyan media is hardly in a position to interrogate troubling questions raised by organizations like Human Rights Watch who have alleged that Kenyan security forces are arbitrarily detaining people as detailed in the following link.

One of the biggest lies that the Kenyan state has fed our citizens through outright military propaganda and blatant lies from the highest echelons of the political leadership including the President and the Prime Minister is that our defence forces went into Somalia to “Linda Nchi” (protect the nation) after a series of violent provocative assaults by the rag tag Al Shabaab militia.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

According to a series of revelations posted on the whistle-blowing site Wikileaks, the Kenyan authorities have been plotting their moves in Somalia for almost four years now.

For example on the 26th of January 2010, the US Assistant Secretary of Defence had separate meetings with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and Defence Minister Yusuf Haji.

Here is the summary of that document:



"C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 NAIROBI 000159 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/11

    TAGS: PREL, PGOV, MOPS, MARR, SU, SO, KE

    SUBJECT: ASD Vershbow Visit Highlights Regional Security Issues



    CLASSIFIED BY: Mitchell Benedict, Political Counselor, DOS, POL;

    REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

    1. (C) Summary: During separate January 26 meetings, Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow met with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Defense Minister Yussuf Haji, Chief of Defense Jeremiah Kianga, and Interior Minister George Saitoti. PM Odinga expressed serious concern over regional instability emanating from Somalia and emphasized that the international community has not acted with resolve as needed. The PM was equally concerned about the potential for Sudanese instability before and after the 2011 referendum. Minister Haji expressed his appreciation for defense cooperation and offered new details on Kenya's proposed "Jubaland Initiative" in Southern Somalia. Kenyan officials expressed concern over spillover of violence from Somalia and the flow of Somali refugees into Kenya."

We are further informed that:

    "During a one-day visit to Kenya on the 29th of January 2010, US Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism Daniel Benjamin, discussed threats from Somalia, Islamic extremism inside Kenya, border security and Kenya's efforts to aid the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG)when he met with George Saitoti, Minister of Interior and Provincial Administration.Saitoti was joined by Mathew Iteere, Commissioner of Police, Commandant K. Mbugua, Administration Police (AP), MG Michael Gichangi, Director General of the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS), and Nicholas Kamwende, Chief of the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU). The delegation met separately with Brigadier Phillip Kameru, Director for Military Intelligence (DMI). Accompanying Amb Benjamin to these meetings were Lee Brudvig, Nairobi Deputy Chief of Mission, Mark Thompson, S/CT Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism (Operations) , COL Rich Clarke, Joint Special Operations Command, MAJ Craig Miller, Liaison to S/CT, and Samuel Madsen, East Africa Regional Strategic Initiative Coordinator.

Details of that meeting are available here.

 As far back as December 8, 2009 according to Wikileaks:


    "During a meeting on the margins of the Djibouti IGAD ministerial visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary Wycoff and Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Wetangula agreed to continue to work together to promote stability and political reconciliation in Somalia. DAS Wycoff told Wetangula that the USG continued to strongly oppose the Kenyan "Jubaland" initiative as a bad idea that would more likely add to Somalia's instability than to help stabilize the country. Wetangula defended GOK plans to pursue its Jubaland (southern Somalia) initiative, implied that it was in evolving concept, and offered to facilitate better USG understanding of Kenya's plans. He also urged, as he had in interventions at the ministerial, international community support for the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Wycoff agreed and highlighted the importance of supporting the Djibouti Peace Process (DPP) and efforts to promote political reconciliation. When the subject was raised, Wetangula excluded further expansion of the teeming Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya, which he said had received 12,000 refugees in November. The Foreign Minister took a hard line on Eritrea. He told DAS Wycoff that he had rebuffed efforts by the visiting Eritrean Foreign Minister to solicit support for a new Somalia reconciliation process. The Kenyan government had expelled Eritrean diplomats that Wetangula thought had played a role in the mid-September suicide bombing attack on AMISOM in Mogadishu."



More ominously, Wikileaks informed us that

    "A high-level Kenyan delegation headed by Foreign Minister Wetangula used a long January 30 meeting on the margins of the AU Summit to lobby Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson's support for the GOK's long-incubating Lower Juba initiative. Wetangula, the Minister of Defense, the Director of the National Security and Intelligence Services, and the military's chief-of-staff each in turn highlighted the dangers to Kenya emanating from Somalia and advertised an incursion into Somalia by the roughly two thousand Somali forces currently being trained by the GOK as the best solution. The Kenyan delegation assured A/S Carson that both Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Government of Ethiopia supported Kenya's efforts and insisted that A/S Carson's longstanding concerns about the Kenyan plan had all been addressed. 2. (C) Summary and comment continued: A/S Carson tactfully, but categorically refused the Kenyan delegation's attempts to enlist USG support for their effort. He worried that the Lower Juba initiative could be very expensive, that it could catalyze clan and sub-clan rivalries, that success could create a rival to the TFG, that the GOK could be unwittingly providing training to future or current ONLF members, and that the GOK was not prepared to handle the domestic repercussions should their effort fail. The January 30 meeting marked Wetangula's third attempt to enlist A/S Carson's support and was only the latest in a long-running campaign by the Kenyan government to win USG agreement to its initiative. The persistence with which the GOK is courting the USG suggests, if nothing else, that they have finally awakened to the implications for Kenya of long-term instability in Somalia and are attempting belatedly to address the problem."



In that second essay, I listed what I felt were the main mistakes the Kenyan state was making in regards to its incursion into Somalia:



    1. It is morally, politically and militarily wrong for Kenya to invade Somalia- a neighbouring African state.

    2. It is reprehensible for the Kenyan government to LIE so brazenly to its own citizens about its real reasons for invading Somalia.

    3. It is against the Kenyan constitution for the Kenyan government through its security forces to violate the human rights of its citizens and those of a neighbouring country, especially defenceless civilians under the veneer and using the canard of allegedly defending itself from Al Shabaab.

    4. It is dangerous for Kenya to retreat from its laudable foreign policy based on respect and peace building to embrace this reckless quixotic misadventure.

    5. It is unwise for the Kenyan government to allow itself to be a pawn, a puppet and a tool for US led imperialist aggression in Africa.

    6. It is foolhardy for top Kenyan leaders-including Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki to go globetrotting, especially to Israel which alienates so many peace loving people, and especially Muslims to seek military, intelligence, financial and other support to ratchet up its conflict against real or perceived enemies in Somalia and within the country.


Onyango Oloo then gave the following recommendations:



    (a) Immediately withdraw all Kenyan troops from the territory of Somalia;

    (b) Seek peaceful solutions to the Somali conflagration by acknowledging that it is the Somali people-within and outside the country-especially the civic formations who must take the lead in ending the conflict in that Horn of Africa nation and state;

    (c) Delink itself totally from the machinations of the US through Africom;

    (d) Recognize the authority and the legitimacy of the African Union in leading regional, continental and international efforts in restoring peace and national harmony in Somalia;

    (e) Giving up the outlandish fantasy of annexing parts of Somalia and creating buffer zones like the proposed "Republic of Jubaland";

    (f) Deepening thorough socio-economic reforms in Kenya, especially by tackling the endemic youth unemployment which is by far the biggest attractor of past, present and future Kenyan born Al Shabaab militia militants;

    (g) Encouraging the flourishing of a free and independent Kenyan media, that instead of joyfully donning military elements, flak jackets and bullet proof vests, will instead carry out thorough research, hold the military propagandists to account, speak truth to the chest thumping political mandarins and inform the Kenyan citizenry with facts rather than DOD press releases;

    (i) Investigate and prosecute all cases and instances of human rights abuses carried out by the Kenyan police, paramilitary, armed forces and of course Al Shabaab and their supporters whether these violations have occurred on Kenyan territory or within the boundaries of Somalia.


Did the Kenyan Government take up any of the above recommendations.

Of course not.

They did the exact opposite. They deepened their involvement in Somalia. Kenya , like George Bush in Iraq, declared Operation Linda Nchi “ Mission Accomplished”.

And today we are mourning our dead and wounded, wringing our hands in anguish and cursing “those cowardly terrorists.”

Well, not all of us.

Shailja Patel, a Kenyan poet who was among a  group of public intellectuals who wrote and signed an open letter denouncing the invasion of Somalia, composed the  following poem, Blowback, on September 24, 2013, during the Westgate standoff:



we will not

hashtag

our grief



our grief may not

be branded for profit



an 8-year old is an 8-year old is an 8-year old

Wagalla is Waziristan is Westgate



a pregnant woman is a pregnant woman is a pregnant woman

Garissa is Kismayo is Nairobi



blood is blood is blood is blood is blood

the stupid, the venal, the cruel inherit the earth



we withhold our grief

from the merchants of death



our grief will not be harnessed

to engines of war



take everything else

this is ours



our grief

is not

open for business



So we are back to Square One.

 In the immediate aftermath of Westgate, this is what we heard from Wajir according to this September 26, 2013 report in the Epoch Times:




Gunmen detonated explosives and got into a firefight with police in the Kenyan city of Wajir, injuring three people and killing one near a Catholic Church. Other reports said another attack took place near a supermarket and a hotel.



The Standard Digital reported that gunmen dropped explosives and shot at police. OCPD Isaiah Odhiambo said the situation is under control now and officials are hunting down the assailants.



Al Jazeera reported that one person was killed.



After the attack, the gunmen fled in a vehicle.



“A routine police patrol in Wajir encountered suspicious individuals and confronted them, at which point grenades were detonated. 3 injured,” wrote the Kenya Disaster OpCentre on Twitter, saying the target of the assailants might have been the city’s Government Guest House.



An unconfirmed Al-Shabab Twitter account tweeted about the attack in Wajir, saying our “mujahideen [are] on the move.”



However, details about the attack and the suspects are still sketchy.



Wajir is a city in the North Eastern Province of Kenya, located around 100 miles from the Somali border. There are around 82,000 residents in Wajir, which has been subjected to attacks in the past.



The reports of explosions and gunfire come just days after alleged al-Shabab militants attacked a mall in Nairobi, killing dozens in a several-day-long siege.

And then there is this tweet:


BREAKING NEWS: Gunmen attack a police station in Mandera,kill one officer,injure three others and burn seven vehicles!
Retweeted by

For a deeper analysis on the same subject, please check out Prof. Horace Campbell's article  in Pambazuka as well as the transcript of the interview between Jeremy Scahill and Democracy Now. 




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

one word, nonsense