Tag Archives: CNN in Kenya

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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“CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES”

The words of Johnnie Carson “choices have consequences” are becoming real every day when we wake up. These consequences are not emanating from the foreign countries as alleged before but from all our elected leaders.

When Johnnie Carson the then Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Affairs and former US ambassador to Kenya uttered the above words when addressing the media during the recent concluded election period, it sparked a harsh reaction from many Kenyans. At first I was burning with anger and asking myself whether we are an independent and sovereign state or are we still under the wings of the colonial masters. To confirm these fears I had to re-read our constitution, switch of the TV and then switch it back on to confirm whether the presenters are “white”, also I had to call a few friends whom I knew were in the city center and asked them whether they were walking with their ID cards hanging on their necks.

I opened my twitter and face book accounts and searched for the accounts of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and some of the freedom fighters so that I could tweet or poke them and ask whether they truly completed the deal of liberating us from the so called colonial masters. This not being enough I sent a quick SMS with the subject line as “urgent” to the village too inquire whether my grandparents were still in the bush fighting for our independence. The answers I got gave me a relief and I truly affirmed myself  that we were indeed an independent state having all our governance structures and institutions in place and all we were going through was just the normal election period conducted by any civilized country. Immediately I took my national identity card made a few copies and hide them anywhere I considered as safe. I waited anxiously and on the Election Day I was among the first to cast my vote to affirm my democratic right to elect any leader I want and not one that the so called colonial masters want me to elect.

I do believe many Kenyans voted for the same reasons as I did; to defy the colonial masters and also to let them know we are in charge. The Jubilee government was voted in despite the various threats from different quotas who kept reminding us on the repercussions of electing a government that is led by leaders who are indicted by the ICC on crimes against humanity. After the swearing in ceremony some of us went to make merry celebrating the fact that some of our so called “big boys” in foreign countries are mourning and that finally the message of being a sovereign state has been stamped on their minds.

The Jubilee government gave me an impression that we are going to have a little heaven on earth. Their manifesto based in three pillars which are Unity, Economy, and Openness. With these they promised that they are going to achieve free primary healthcare for all Kenyans, starting with women, expectant and breast-feeding mothers and persons with disabilities by increasing health financing from 6% to 15%. They promised tax breaks/holidays for the young people to encourage them to initiate start up businesses, and the introduction of tax incentives to encourage investment and growth in the manufacturing and service sector so as to enable them achieve the pledge of creating one million new jobs and many other promises which simply seem as mere utopia talk.

The VAT bill 2013 is just but a tip of the iceberg on what is going to happen. The cost of living has become extremely high that many people will not be able to sustain. Mr. President I believe you are relying on your advisors who are telling you to apply the principle of man cannot live on bread alone but on every word that comes from your government. Your Excellency the words from your government are becoming bitter. Even a simple tool of communication such as newspapers has increased in price making communication from your government unaffordable.

The effects of the words and policies from your government are affecting the unborn, the living and the dead. You have increased VAT on essential commodities such as  milk, bread, eggs and many others that are a requirement on a daily basis and they need to be zero-rated. To the dead, after pushing them to the grave you are still following them by increasing the cemetery charges. Electricity charges have also gone up despite the massive promise from the deputy president that jubilee government will reduce cost of electricity. The manufacturing sector will be highly affected and at the end of it all the common “mwananchi” will bare the greatest burden.

You are pushing us to the wall and as a result we will react. We will try to get rich or die trying and as a result; crime rate will increase while corruption and under-dealings will be the order of the day. As our leaders travel to The Hague accompanied by their sycophant supporters whom we also elected we wish to let them know we will not be praying for them because we as a country are hungry and that we regret the choices we made because the consequences are painful.

Article by

Dennis Mwaniki

Political scientist

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Should we cover our nakedness or expose it to the world?

Recently a US based research organization classified Kenya as among the group of failed states and on top of the list was Somalia. A country that has been faced with violence and war for almost a decade or so, a place where the language on rule of law, democracy, peaceful co-existence, harmony is just but a rumor but the language of iron machetes, guns, grenades and blood is a common phenomena to all. Hopefully, Somalia will relinquish its current position soon due to the newly established Federal Government of Somalia under the leadership of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as president and Abdi Farah Shirdon as the Prime Minister and also assistance from the Africa continent and world at large.

 

But the question that still lingers in my mind is; is Kenya really a failed state? For a country to be classified as a failed state there are various factors that are normally considered such as the Legitimacy of the state, Security, Declining public services, Human rights, Demographic pressures, External Intervention, Uneven Development, Refugees & IDP’s, Poverty & Economic Decline, Group grievances and last but not least Human Flight. Allow me to interrogate most of these factors so as to check whether as a country we are a failed state or not?

 

As a country we do have a legitimate state which was duly elected on 4th March 2013 and thereafter given a clean bill of health by the Supreme Court despite the massive electoral irregularities such as failure of the BVR Kits and the electronic tallying system. Despite the legitimacy of the state, as a country we still face another issue of not being fully accepted by the international community due to the well known ICC issue that surround both our President and his deputy. But can that make us a failed state?

 

Security is a big issue in our country. Actually the President needs to declare it a national disaster. Every now and then we wake up to news concerning ethnic clashes from Bungoma to Tana River and parts of Northern Eastern. People are killing each other as if it’s a new game. Most of our Sundays wouldn’t end without grenades being hurled into churches, bus stops or Mosques. Killer gangs and Juvenile gangs are mushrooming in most of the informal settlements and our young girls are raped every now and then. Our top police officials (Chairman of the Police Service Commission and Inspector General) are still in limbo of who should have more powers over the other. As a result security in our country is still in question and our safety is definitely not certain.

 

Declining of public service is still another issue that we are facing. Under the new government the Ministries have been reduced through merging most of the Ministries that were in the former blotted cabinet. Unfortunately this has not solved any issue because the personnel have not changed their minds or their ways of doing things. This is well articulated when one visits any of the Public Hospitals.  Most of our human rights are not well adhered to fully, such as freedom and security of persons, labor relations, assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition.

 

Demographic pressures are also challenges that we grapple with but they are swept under the carpet by our leaders. We have a large group of retirees who are not able to sustain their living and those whom they depend on, happen to fall under the category of the working class but a large percentage are unemployed. There is also the challenge of external threat from the Alshabab and cattle rustlers from our neighboring countries. There are external influences from certain global financial institutions that issue ultimatums for any assistance they offer us.

 

When we ushered in the devolved system of government we were all optimistic that uneven development will be an issue of the past but lately it seems it’s only going to be a pipe dream if the current budget estimates from our counties are anything to go by. Our leaders have selectively ignored what is of priority such as solving the issue of IDP’s who are still languishing in torn tents, the issue of poverty increase where basic amenities to some people is a big issue and the current wave of industrial strikes.

 

We are told that if you happen to see your father walking naked don’t start shouting and calling the villagers to come and see his nakedness but rather cover him. Unfortunately our father enjoys walking naked and despite our efforts to cover him, the villagers have already noticed his nakedness and now they are exposing us by calling us a failed state. Fellow country men my question still lingers, is Kenya really a failed state? If so should we all join the band wagon and expose its nakedness or should we continue to cover it?

 

Article by

Dennis Mwaniki

Political scientist

 

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PRESS STATEMENT 09/03/2013 : FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Greetings ladies and gentlemen of the international press – the CNNs, France24s and BBCs of the west. We trust that you are well, and you must be considering you have not spent the last few days ducking rubber bullets fired by the Kenya Police to disperse ‘rowdy Kenyan locals’.

First of all, my apologies on behalf of all my fellow ‘natives’. We, Kenyans have disappointed you greatly. It is completely unfair for media houses of great esteem, such as you are, to spend all the money to send their reporters to come and report on the post-election violence in Kenya – only for them to return home empty handed! As ‘natives’, we may not know exactly know how that feels but we have learnt to identify with the afflictions of many! May you find it in your hearts to forgive us for maintaining peace as we chose who among all our ‘corrupt African’ leaders would ascend to the various positions of power. However, this mistake was a deliberate one, the kind that we intend to repeat over and over again.

Secondly, we take this moment to introduce you to the new way of doing things in Kenya. Going forward, we intend to carry out ALL our elections in peace. In actual sense, this process has already started and we will continue to perfect it as time goes by. You must have heard about the attacks at the Coast where 6 policemen were killed – that was a terrorist attack, just like the ones you have back home and the situation is now under control thanks to our security forces. Unfortunately, you may need to replace all your pre-printed alarmist headlines with real headlines.

Feel free to choose from the samples below ;

‘Kenya Concludes it’s Peaceful Elections’

‘New Set of Leaders Elected in Kenya’

‘Kenya Surprises The International Community by Successfully Carrying out Democratic Elections’

 

Since you have proved to us on several occasions that you are very good at coming up with headlines – even imaginary ones – we leave the rest to your creativity. The key thing here is that you should think POSITIVE. Think the opposite of what you are used to and you won’t go wrong.

Finally, since you are already in Kenya, please feel free to report on other good things about our beautiful country – not just hyenas and hippos. A lot has happened since your were last here to report on (violent)elections. To name a few, there has been infrastructural developments, discovery of oil and the changing technology landscape.

Thank you for your support!

From :

Raia wa Jamhuri Kuu ya Kenya (Citizen of The People’s Democratic Republic of Kenya) via #KOT (Kenyan’s on Twitter)

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