Thursday, 18 December 2014


Yesterday marked the official start of Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election campaign. The ‪#‎SecurityBill‬ had little to do with containing terrorists but everything to do with terrorising citizens into submitting to every whim of the state, to stop us from exposing the rot, to never dare point out that the Emperor's new clothes are a bit too revealing, and thereby to eventually guarantee that the prophesied 20 year rule of Jubilee becomes a reality.
Now they shall detain us without trial, they shall declare us guilty until we are proved innocent, they shall listen to our phone calls, they shall require us to ask for their permission to investigate them, we shall also have to check with them whether some pictures are 'gory' or 'offensive' before we can share them, they shall deregister us claiming we are funding terrorists without providing a shred of evidence or giving us a chance to be heard, and, oh yes, in everything we do, we must be very careful not 'to undermine the authority of a public officer'. We've been here before and some of us are old enough to remember how Moi did it and Kenyatta before him.
The big question of the day is, are we supposed to just roll over and accept to give up all the gains we have fought, sweated, bled and died for over the last two decades?
The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.
Amkeni ndugu zetu.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A Kenyan Tragedy

Just seen a disturbing documentary straight after prime time news on KTN made by Mike Sonko showing him dishing out wads of money Moi-style to victims of the Loreto bus accident. He visited each of their homes to give them cash, went to weep at the gravesides of those who died, took all the families on an excursion to Lake Nakuru National Park and on helicopter rides, and then for dinner at The Carnivore.

The families seemed truly pleased and heaped praises on their beloved Senator and the President who apparently had also sent Sonko with Ksh. 600,000 to distribute to the families. The documentary, whose executive producer was Sonko himself, reminded me of the KBC weekly program 'Yaliyotokea' which used to showcase a summary of the public events that Moi had attended  during a particular week.

While one cannot blame the victims' families for accepting the freebies, it is disturbing that no one asks where all this money is coming from. Even more disturbing is the fact that instead of finding a long term policy solution to the carnage on our roads, our leaders wait for people to be killed and maimed and then go and cry crocodile tears while making documentaries of themselves to campaign for the next election. A uniquely Kenyan tragedy.

Friday, 5 December 2014

The arc of the moral universe it long, but it bends toward justice.

The rich and the powerful of this world may use their money and power to subvert the institutions of this world and to trample the rights of the poor and the powerless and deny them justice. They may use their money to get the best legal representation money can buy. They may kill, disappear, intimidate or bribe witnesses. They may use their positions of power to mobilize hoards of supporters and rally fellow rich and powerful people to their cause. And for a time, they may appear to have prevailed, but only for a while. For the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Ole Nkaisserry for Ole Lenku: Same cake, different icing...

Substituting one Joseph for another (Nkaissery for Lenku) in the Security Docket does nothing to improve our security if the underlying issues of an unreformed, corrupt and inept security sector are not honestly and seriously addressed. This is just Uhuru Kenyatta finding an alibi in advance to explain the abysmal failure of his government to protect the Kenyan people when the time comes to campaign for re-election in 2017.
He is in effect telling ODM: "You've been complaining about insecurity, I am now appointing one of your own, a (nominal) ODM politician to be (nominally) in charge."
But once the false trappings of power lose their allure for Nkaisserry as they did for Lenku, he will realise that he has been handed a poison chalice; when it becomes clear that it's a no win situation for him, he will either resign or be fired. By this time it will be close enough to the elections, and Jubilee can take advantage of Kenyans' short memories and claim that it was actually ODM that was in charge of security at the time when insecurity decimated Kenya.
The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Amkeni ndugu zetu.