Tag Archives: #BBC AFRICA

Different faces of a terrorist

Al-Quds Brigade On Military Exercise

Al-Qaeda Militants

Can a terrorist be defined by gender, ideological beliefs, class, age, Religious affiliation, dressing, the technique in which they use to commit the act of terror or is it from a persona perspective or an organization/grouping/region perspective? Hard as it may sound, conceptualization of the term terrorist is of necessity lest we brand groups or individuals as terrorist yet they are not, or miss to label one as we intensify the fight against terror.
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Emotions; the predicament to our development

In the market place of politics when reason and emotions collide, emotions always take the day. This is because we are always inclined with what we feel more than the real and true facts about a certain situation. This is evidently seen during the time for elections where most electorates vote by how they feel towards a certain candidate, their political party and lastly their policies or political manifestos. The emotions are normally pegged on certain characteristics such as, the ethnicity of the candidates, their gender, issues that surround him personally and which the electorates relate to, his/her age group, race and to some the “swag” that he has.

When Barrack Obama was elected on November 4, 2008 and sworn in on January 20, 2009 many analysts said that he won based on the policies he articulated during his campaign but the major influence was based on how the Democratic Party campaign team was able to capture the emotions of most electorates especially the youth and the African-Americans. He related to them based on age and race. The other percentage of voters, voted for him based on his policies (reasons). Thus both the reason and emotion played a role in his election but emotion was the major factor for those who voted for and against him.

To bring the argument closer home, the Jubilee government was elected based on the emotions surrounding the ICC issue. Most people couldn’t stand the fact that a Kenyan will stand trial before an International Court. Emotions played a major factor and reason was nowhere to be seen despite the fact that thousands were displaced during the 2007/2008 post-election violence and thousands killed. This doesn’t mean those who have been charged before the International Criminal Court are guilty or not but only stresses the point that emotions drive our Kenyan politics. Also when a politician or a leader is charged for corruption he/she runs to his ethnic region and incites the people that it is not him/her being targeted but the community at large. The aftermath is demonstrations from the community through protesting and barricading roads.

90% of the elected leaders we voted for during the last election were purely not voted in because we believed in their policies and manifestos or their track records of good performance. We voted based on who we felt had warmed our hearts. This was based on the status we envisioned a leader to have, the depth of his pockets, the tribe he comes from, and lastly what traits he posses such as dressing and the language he uses that we tend to relate with. As a country we have made crucial decisions based on our emotions and most of these decisions have come back to haunt us. For example when we voted for the constitution majority never had the time to read it but voted for it based on what their favorite politician was advocating for. Today the same politicians who were for the constitution are now advocating for a referendum because the constitution is not benefiting them as they thought it could. Sadly we still let our emotions cloud our judgement and again we follow the same politicians without asking each other what are the real issues they are advocating for and if we support the call for a plebiscite what benefit are we going to enjoy as a common mwananchi?

Our politicians have mastered the art of manipulating our emotions to their own advantage and this is why when the Supreme Court made a verdict against the CORD Coalition, its leaders started organizing rallies to criticize and tarnish the image of the Supreme Court arousing rage within their members that caused tension within the country. Also we are currently witnessing a wave of violence from our County Governments such as Makueni, Nandi and elsewhere where leaders who we feel we are emotionally connected to, incite us to wage war amongst ourselves yet we ignore the fact that they are simply playing politics and using us to settle political scores. A time has come for us as Kenyans to activate our reasoning gear and deactivate part our emotions.

We need to hold our leaders personally accountable to what is happening within our Country. We need to stop supporting the “thug” kind of leaders we elected and we’ve got to stop letting them manipulate us to support them yet all they are after is to enrich themselves alone.

We need to always ask ourselves, what will I benefit if I support a certain cause being advocated for by our leaders? Why should we demonstrate and what benefit will it accord me as an individual? It is time, fellow countrymen, to let reason prevail in our politics. Let us support our leaders by the content of their past and present performances and let us not allow emotions to cloud our judgement from now hence forth if we still want to achieve vision 2030.

Article by

Dennis Mwaniki

A political Scientist

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Its way past 100 days for the Jubilee Government and I am still pondering on what to give as my own scorecard. Things are happening so fast and the fear of going back to another politically charged environment is becoming more and more real each day due to the immature proposed referendums. All these proposed immature referendums have one thing in common, that is, selfish play from our so called leaders whose main desire is to negatively polarize our peaceful atmosphere as a country in order to remain politically significant. If by any means we find ourselves back to the ballot box any time soon, I wish to state that my vote will be against any form of referendum. Having stated my position, kindly allow me to continue with the agenda for today and that is giving my well thought out scorecard on the Jubilee government.

This government reminds me of three men who were trying to argue amongst themselves who is more generous to God. The first man went ahead and dug a hole and immediately tossed his coins up and said the ones that will fall into the hole will be his and those outside the hole will be God’s. The second man used the same formula and he too tossed his coins up and said the ones that will fall into the hole belong to God and those outside are his. The third man looked at them and condemned the two men for being selfish and said that he believes that he is the most generous of them all. He tossed his coins and said those that will remain up belong to God and those that will fall down belong to Him.

The first two men represent the Moi and Kibaki governments but I wish not to dwell on them and the third man represents the Jubilee government.  As a government you are now fully in operation having selected and appointed your members of cabinet and their respective principle secretaries. You managed to meet the constitutional mandate on gender balance on the appointments and for that I highly commend you. Also the men and women whom you selected are individuals with impeccable credentials and you managed to defy the historical notion of appointing former politicians. On matters of health, you managed to waive the maternity fees making our women able to deliver with pride and dignity in the comfort of our specialized medical personnel. For that every woman gives you a plus.

 On these two matters your performance is above average and I hope you will continue to improve the health system through improving the remuneration of our medical personnel and also raising the standards of our health facilities. Unfortunately these are the only things that you have managed to deliver. Chapter four, Article 43, stipulates that-Every person has the right-

a)      to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care; b) to accessible and adequate housing, and to reasonable standards of sanitation; c) to be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality; d) to social security; and d) to education

Sadly as I look at most of these fundamental rights which you are required to have delivered I can firmly say you have performed below average.

Today most citizens cannot afford a decent meal. During the debate on the proposed VAT Bill the Deputy President, who claims to be a “hustler”, said that the reason why they advocate for increase of VAT on maize meal is because those who go to supermarkets can afford it because they live in urban areas. Allow me to correct the Deputy President and say 98% of those who live in urban areas nowadays cannot afford to buy food from the supermarkets. Instead they go to local shops which purchase their products in bulk from supermarkets and then sell in small quantities making it more expensive in the long run. Inflation rates are too high forcing people to opt for 1 meal a day or the “kadogo economy” where a real hustler budgets for Kes 100 or less on a daily basis.

Insecurity has become a national disaster to a point where even our domestic animals are endangered by being maltreated forcing most us to be vegetarians. The fuel prices keep going up and the living conditions have become unbearable. Transport cost has doubled and now people are opting to walk to work. Unemployment rate continues to increase and the promise of 1 million jobs annually keeps fading away. Soon it may be referred to as a pipe-dream. On housing, most people are opting for informal settlements because the rent has doubled and most people cannot afford.

Bottom line the cost of living is too high. During the campaign period you tossed your well articulated manifesto claiming you will be generous by ensuring every Kenyan gets a decent living. As citizens we are still waiting but it seems all the promises have only fallen down to the main players in the government. Final verdict; you are still below average, but you got time to recover.

Article by,

Dennis Mwaniki

A Political Scientist.

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Time to move on, next time try harder!!



Recently I found myself reading a book titled “Surviving the Loss of a Loved One” by Reginald K. Brown for no apparent reason. In the book, the author states that in an emotional state of sorrow and grief there are two traps of which the bereaved should be aware of. The first is to pretend that they are over the worst when they are not and the other is to hang on to the grief for too long. Reginald K. Brown continued to state that within the grieving process we have various stages that will help in recovery.

The first is shock and numbness; which is the immediate reaction to the loss and may take several weeks. It’s nature’s way of protecting you from the initial pain and distress. Secondly, we have the denial where one may find himself or herself not believing what has happened and some may think it’s a bad dream. Thirdly, we have blaming self/others. At this stage the individual may resort to a “blame game” on his/her loss to himself or other people.

Fourth, we have depression and disorganization. At this stage one may feel extremely sad and unable to do things they want to do and also unable to enjoy friends; indulge in hobbies or other pleasurable activities. Last but not least is the resolution stage where one makes a mistake of thinking that the solution is to stop grieving. Where as the loss will always be there and no matter what you try to do at some point the memories may still reappear.

After the last general elections we had those who lost and some had to cement their loss by going to the Supreme Court. Some of these individuals are still in the initial stage of grief where they are experiencing shock hence they are no longer in the public lime light nor do we hear them making any public comment or critic the winners (Government).Unfortunately, we are now seeing those who are experiencing the third stage which is blaming self or others exercising it and to be specific the Cord Coalition leaders.

 Immediately after the Supreme Court verdict the Cord Coalition went back to their strongholds to win sympathy from their supporters claiming that democracy in our country was on trial while others spreading innuendo and propaganda that some of the Supreme Court judges had been bribed. Fortunately or unfortunately most the electorates had accepted the verdict and were in the process of healing and those who were angry and bitter, the memory of 2007/2008 post election violence still lingering in their minds forced most of them to sober up and move on.

Currently, the Cord Coalition leaders are back at the blame game and now the target is the IEBC. We all know the IEBC had its challenges and it being the first time as a country going digital on the electoral process, we all knew some technological challenges were inevitable without trying to justify the massive challenges. But starting to attack an institution that is well founded under our constitution and whose commissioners underwent a rigorous vetting process and their names approved by parliament is just simply political manipulations from our political leaders.

The Commission under attack now carried out the successful referendum of 2008 and for a period it was a “darling” to many and especially those who were on the winning side and to be more precise the leaders of the Cord Coalition. Why then change the perception just because the nomination of one of your nominee in the Makueni by- election was declared null and void simply because of failing to do a proper verification on whether the nominee was a registered voter or not .

Losing is part of life especially in a competition. It is something that we are all going to experience just like death and paying taxes. But how we handle and grieve over it is determined a lot by our character. The solution is not to disband the entire commission or polarize the country by saying you are not going to engage yourselves on any election carried out by the IEBC, yet most of your coalition members who won and are now Governors, M.P’s and Senators were declared winners by the same Commission. Also trying to jeopardize the existing government is not a solution because if the government fails we all fail, whether we voted for or against. Its time to move on and for those who lost lets try harder next time.

Article by,

Dennis Mwaniki,

A political Scientist






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