Monday, July 12, 2004

Kenya Democracy Project Exposes Leo Juma’s Disinformation Against Katiba Watch

A Statement From
Onyango Oloo
Secretary, Kenya Democracy Project
Montreal, Quebec
Monday, July 12, 2004
11:01 am EST

To the NATION Group of Newspapers:

The Kenya Democracy Project REQUESTS that you carry this statement in order to CORRECT the PROPAGANDA DRIVEL you ran on Sunday without EVEN BOTHERING TO CHECK ON ITS FACTUAL ACCURACY.

We are referring to Leo Juma's atrocious piece that we managed to access online via the following link:


Shame on you for falling asleep at the steering wheel in THIS MOST BASIC REQUIREMENT of journalism-you always double check your stories.

It was to be expected that sooner or later the NAK regime and its ideologues in the media would launch a campaign of lies, vilification and slander against Katiba Watch.

Let us examine a piece of fabricated turd that is was published in yesterday’s Sunday Nation and is now being circulated in various Kenyan online discussion forums and across the world via email as a desperate “antidote” to a very forthright, frank, militant interview with Wahu Kaara one of the main leaders of Katiba Watch. This campaign targets virtually ALL of the Katiba Watch leaders as well.

Given her Gikuyu ethnic background, no one can call Wahu Kaara a “mindless Luo hooligan”.

Other smear tactics, reeking of personal attacks, sexism, tabloid sensationalism, and drunken bar talk have to be employed.

Now, let us take a closer look at Leo Juma’s piece of TRASH:

Leo Juma Kicks Off His Lies With this MISLEADING headline:

“The origins of Katiba Watch
Story by LEO JUMA
Publication Date: 07/11/2004“

Kenya Democracy Project Points Out that:

One THE CONTRARY, the origins of Katiba Watch ARE NOT shrouded in mystery AT ALL. Their activities have been in the PUBLIC DOMAIN since DAY ONE, since the get go.

The group first came to light by issuing a PUBLIC PRESS STATEMENT in early April.

Here is a link to that statement:

click here

The struggle for a new Kenyan constitution is not a new or murky conspiracy.

The founders of Katiba Watch are well known Kenyans, most of them with a very long history of patriotic activism.

And virtually all of these Katiba Watch organizers were involved with Bomas as delegates and supporters directly or indirectly.

Leo Juma Continues:

”The lobby group Katiba Watch that was behind the violent Nairobi rally of July 3 was founded in April rather inadvertently, thanks to a somewhat mysterious American living in Kenya. Mr Mitch Medina had invited a group of former Bomas constitution conference delegates to a meeting at Nairobi Safari Club, but which turned out to be a not-so-subtle gambit for a consensus over the constitution draft impasse.”

Kenya Democracy Project Reminds the anti-Boma propagandist of the TRUTH:

It is an insult to the collective intelligence of Kenyans for someone to impute, imply or blatantly spread the slander that democratic and patriotic minded Kenyans, many of whom have spent DECADES confronting US imperialism-it is a gross insult to suggest that these Wazalendo cannot, on their own, without the bidding of a "mysterious American", organize a lobby group to support the demands for a new constitution.

Leo Juma Continues His Smear Campaign:

”Naturally, not many agreed to what was perceived to be the American's agenda. At the end of it all, they parted ways with their host and, in quite an unforeseen consequence; the former delegates came up with the idea of a lobby group to push for the implementation of the draft as it was. That was the birth of Katiba Watch.“

Kenya Democracy Project Challenges Leo Juma:

We demand you reveal your so called “sources.”

Some of us have been in touch with the Katiba Watch organizers before Katiba Watch was launched. You are lying and we are calling your bluff!

Peddling unfounded rumours while claiming to be a “reputable journalist” is beneath contempt and beyond derision.

Leo Juma “Reveals”:

“Mr Medina has been linked to an organisation calling itself Coalition for a Commonsense Constitution, and is funding several projects in western Kenya. He was at Bomas as an observer; though what many delegates remember is the literature he circulated to oppose the Kadhis' courts.“

Kenya Democracy Project Wonders and Ponders:

Perhaps, Leo Juma, perhaps.

But you see, this is where your lies catch up with you. Katiba Watch includes Muslims and the group is SUPPORTIVE of the demands of the Muslims.

So how could they be bankrolled by Mr Medina?

Leo Juma Supplies Us With More Useless Information:

“About 80 delegates had attended the Nairobi Safari Club meeting, and virtually all are activists of the NGO world.“

Kenya Democracy Project Observes:

I guess your secret police sources counted everyone who was coming in and going out the Nairobi Safari Club,that particular day, did they not, Leo Juma?

You sound like a leftover media attack dog from the Nyayo House torture chambers.

And that is NOT a compliment, Leo Juma.

Leo Juma Now Embarks on Overt Character Assassination:

”Among the Katiba Watch luminaries is Mr Suba Churchill, a former University of Nairobi student leader, who was expelled and completed his studies abroad. He runs Education Rights Forum, an NGO.”

Kenya Democracy Project Underlines a Simple Fact:

Only those who sang from the Nyayo Hymn books crowing KANU Yajenga Nchi and Moi Tawala! Tawala! would consider it a CRIME for Suba Churchill to have been at one point in his life “a former University of Nairobi leader who was expelled...”

Actually Suba Churchill WAS NOT at Nairobi.

He was at Egerton.

Just goes to show what kind of useless taka taka you end up with when you collect your breaking stories from ill-informed desperate alcoholics at the Ambassador Hotel over three warm Tuskers paid for by Murungaru’s boys.

Leo Juma is a Typical Kenyan Sexist Gossip:

”Then there is Mrs. Wahu Kaara, a former high school teacher, whose activism is said to be inspired by her late husband, Mr Kaara wa Ngotho, who the Kenya regime frequently jailed. A NAK MP who wished not to be named claims that Mrs. Kaara had hoped to be appointed to the Kenya Human Rights Commission, but this did not happen. “

Kenya Democracy Projects Informed This JACKASS:

Shame on you Leo Juma!

Some of us who knew BOTH Wahu and Kaara as CLOSE COMRADES in some of our underground movements in the eighties would argue, that of the two, Wahu was perhaps more MILITANT and IDEOLOGICALLY clear! Kaara is more likely to have been POLITICALLY INFLUENCED by Wahu, rather than the other way around!

And our late comrade’s name was Kaara wa MACHARIA, you ignoramus.

NGOTHO KARIUKI the former detainee and dean of the faculty of commerce at the University of Nairobi, is Kaara’s elder brother and Wahu’s brother in law.

By the way, how many times was Kaara wa Macharia “jailed”?

Exactly ZERO TIMES, you dumbass!

He escaped into exile ahead of an impending arrest.

Do your research you hired fool.

And as for that pathetic crack about the KHRC, why am I not surprised?

Wahu Kaara is JUST AS QUALIFIED as ANY of the COMPETENT and PROFESSIONAL men and women who work very hard at the Kenya Human Rights Commission. In any case, if you have any inkling about the Kenyan human rights field, you will have known that there is HARDLY a project that the KHRC has not sponsored- many of the social justice organizations in Nairobi today started life as PROJECTS of the KHRC. Stop creating a schism (as if there was not enough STATIC) between the KHRC and othe civil society players like Wahu Kaara and her Katiba Watch comrades.

Leo Juma Targets Mwachiro Next:

”Mr Leslie Mwachiro, who has twice unsuccessfully vied for the Kaloleni parliamentary seat at the Coast, is the Katiba chairman. His office at Uniafric House, Nairobi, serves as the group's meeting place, as the lobby has no offices of its own. He was initially associated with the Shirikisho party until 2000 when he quit. He now heads the Chama cha Majimbo na Mwangaza party, on whose ticket he contested in 2002. But in 1997 he ran under Shirikisho.”

Kenya Democracy Project Has Some Questions for Leo Juma:

What is wrong with Leslie Mwachiro trying to get himself to parliament?

And so what if he has tried twice and failed?

Is Shirikisho a banned organization in Kenya?

Make up your mind, Leo Juma:

Is Mwachiro a democrat who submits himself to the Kenyan voters or is he a conspirator who was recruited by an American called Medina?

Does a group of Kenyans fighting for democracy NEED and office to survive?

And if they have been “paid” if money has been “poured”, how come the lobby is too poor to afford offices.

Those of us who worked in under ground cells in the country; in secret study groups in prison and solidarity committees in exile know that the prison cells, our living rooms and the cafes were our offices.

And I am sure millions of wananchi who toil in poverty everyday will forgive Katiba Watch for making Uhuru Park, Tononoka Sports Ground and the streets and poor neighbourhoods of Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, and Wundanyi to be the offices of Katiba Watch.

Leo Juma Gives Us Another Peak at the Special Branch Field Report:

”The other occasional meeting point of the Katiba Watch activists is the Rattansi Trust Building office of Mr Elkana Odembo, who runs an NGO called Fadhili Trust. Insiders say he is a major influence in the lobby, although he prefers to operate behind the scenes. “

Kenya Democracy Project Asks:

Is there ANYTHING ILLEGAL about Katiba Watch meeting in the offices of Elkana Odembo?

And is Elkana guilty of TREASON because he “runs an NGO called Fadhili Trust”?

Who are these so called “insiders”?

Katiba Watch is a PUBLIC BODY working OPENLY for the passage of the Zero Draft that was adopted overwhelmingly at Bomas.

Have you ever been turned away from any of their meetings, Leo Juma?

Leo Juma Introduces Some Irrelevant anti-LDP gossip

“Mr Odembo, a former NGO Council chairman, is a brother-in-law of Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo.“

Kenya Democracy is Bewildered:

So tell us something, Leo Juma. To whom should Odembo be a brother-in-law to?

Mwangi Kiunjuri or Duncan Mungatana?

Look at the WAY Leo Describes this patriotic Kenyan Muslim

“Yet another is Mr Abdulrahman Wandati, who once had links with the unregistered Islamic Party of Kenya.”

Kenya Democracy Project Can See Right Through this Demented Islamophobia:

Geez, Gosh, Kusema Kweli, Walahi Bilahi, Ngai Fafa, Nyasaye Achiel, Leo, for a moment there, I thought you were describing Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein or Mullah Omar!!

Tune in to this Bar Room Prattle and Uvumi:

“Then there is veteran politician Martin Shikuku. It is said that many activists and politicians in LDP and Kanu who have joined in as allies are wary of the former Butere MP, arguing that he has a reputation for unpredictability and seeking to hijack movements he gets co-opted into. They cite the original Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (Ford). But the Katiba activists appear to have realised that he is essential, if only for the attention he helps them to attract. “

Kenya Democracy Has a Memo for Leo the Vicious Gossip:

Who are these “many activists and politicians in LDP and KANU” Mister Msabasi bin Unafik?

Where were you when Shikuku was being detained in 1975?

What did YOU, Leo Juma do for Kenyan democracy around the time the original FORD was being formed?

Were you even politically active?

Leo Juma Continues With His Outright Fabrications:

”Mr Shikuku has twice contested and lost the Butere parliamentary seat. The Bomas conference was therefore a wonderful opportunity for a political comeback. It was claimed at the talks that he had an eye for a seat in the proposed Senate if the Bomas draft got through.”

Kenya Democracy Project Counters:

Onyango Oloo, the person who is penning this KDP response is actually from Butere constituency.

Shikuku was reelected as our MP for close to THIRTY YEARS from 1963 to the 1990s.

The mlolongo farce of 1988 does not count.

And so what if Shikuku lost an election or two?

Leo Juma is probably the only Kenyan who has forgotten Shikuku’s spirited parliamentary contributions that some of us grew up listening to on VOK’s Jana Katika Bunge.

Leo Juma Sinks Even Lower:

”Mr Shikuku is usually at Parliament Buildings even though he is no longer an MP. Some MPs have been heard to wonder whether he does not have better things to do’.

Kenya Democracy Points Out:

There is no need to even touch that stinking piece of excrement.

Leo Juma is Back in His Speculative Mode:

”There have been suspicions that Katiba is funded by politicians, especially its new-found allies in Kanu and LDP. Others suspect that a Muslim lobby group with overseas links is also doing the bankrolling. This group is reportedly bent on supporting others that, in turn, back the Muslims' push for the Kadhis' courts in the draft. “

Kenya Democracy Project Demands:

We need some PROOF Leo Juma.

Back it up!

We thought you said they were too poor to afford an office of their own.

We thought they were bankrolled by an American opposed to the Kadhi’s court.

You do not show ANY SIGNS of possessing even average intelligence, Leo Juma.

After an ETERNITY, Leo Juma Brings a Katiba Watch voice into his piece of disinformation:

”But Katiba strongly denies they are being funded by anyone, but themselves. In any case, they argue, their activities do not need much money. "The much we need is for transport when we are going somewhere. But this we raise among ourselves. The handkerchiefs are really not much of an expense," the lobby group's secretary, Mr Zakayo Karimi, told the Sunday Nation, referring to the pieces of cloth leaders of the Uhuru Park demonstrations were waving as a sign of peace. A letter two weeks ago from the lobby to Konrad Adenauer Foundation asking for help was rejected. The German organisation said it supported only groups in favour of a consensus over the draft.”

Kenya Democracy Project Says:

Clearly Karimi’s statements back up your own contradictory story, Leo Juma.

But Leo Juma Still has to TRASH Karimi:

“Mr Karimi, who has been linked to the Sisi Kwa Sisi party, was a co-ordinator of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta's presidential campaign in 2002. “

Kenya Democracy Project:

Has nothing to say to this infantile jab at Uhuru Kenyatta.

Leo Juma Claims:

“Left on its own, Katiba Watch clearly has little muscle, and this was amply demonstrated on May 15 when they called a rally at Uhuru Park, which was poorly attended. “

Kenya Democracy Project uses shorthand from the internet:


Clearly Leo Juma’s Report Was Commissioned by the Secret Police:

”But the entry of political parties and big names is what has changed the picture. A Government source alleges that Mr Churchill was at the University of Nairobi on the eve of the Nairobi riots on what was believed to be an incitement mission. “

Kenya Democracy Project Puts a Direct Question to Leo the Liar:

Reveal your source, Leo the Liar.

Was it Murungaru?

Was it Kiraitu?

Was it Kivutha Kibwana?

Was it Ndwiga?

Was it Tuju?

Was it Maitha?

Was it Mukhisa Kituyi?

Was it Charity Ngilu?

Or was it Petkay Miriti the former Special Branch torturer who is now an assistant minister?

Leo Juma Thinks that Freedom of Movement, Assembly and Association Should be Criminalized:

”He admits to having been there, but says vaguely: "My work and interest are to promote education."

Kenya Democracy Project Wonders for the Umpteenth Time:

Tell us something, Leo Juma:
Is going to the university on the eve of a pro-democracy rally a treasonous act that has to be “admitted” in an interview with someone who is ALLEGEDLY a journalist and NOT a member of the Kenyan security intelligence establishment?

Right Up to the End, Leo Juma Keeps Up His CRUSADE of DECEIT AND DISINFORMATION:

“Mr Churchill says the MPs in their ranks are simply allies, but lets on that Katiba Watch has links with MPs through Mr Shikuku and former Cabinet minister Isaac Ruto. Two Kanu MPs from Rift Valley and another from Narc in Nairobi are understood to be also actively supporting the lobby.”

In Wrapping Up Our Demystification of Leo the Liar

Kenya Democracy Project Quotes Wahu Kaara:

Is Isaac Ruto a Sudanese? Is Shikuku a German? Are the “two KANU MPS from the Rift Valley” illegal immigrants from Scotland?

Kenya Democracy Concludes:

Leo Juma’s piece is riddled with lies, tribalism, sexism, character assassination, NAK propaganda and drunken gossip.

Kenya Democracy Project Recommends:

We are calling on Ndugu Ng’ang’a Thiong’o, one of Kenya’s most progressive and democratic minded lawyers and a founder member of Katiba Watch to HAUL Leo Juma’s ass to court together whoever is paying (and we are not just talking about the NAK mouthpiece he writes for) and SUE them for libel and defamation.

Onyango Oloo
Secretary, Kenya Democracy Project
Montreal, Quebec
Monday, July 12, 2004
11:01 am EST

1 comment:

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