Sunday, 24 May 2009

Politicians are the same the world over

Reading the paper on the underground after work a few days ago, this story caught my eye.

Conservative MP Anthony Steen had claims for expenses of up to £87,000, and part of the expenses included inspections of more than 500 trees, and guarding against shrubs.

To add insult to injury he says ati his critics are jealous because he lives in a big house. I wonder whether he has any chance of getting selected at the next election with this attitude. Some people just don't get it.

This is all tax payers money that pays for this. I was so not amused. I had a look round the train, and was watching faces as they read the story, not good.

I think about how much I am taxed each month, and this is where some of my money goes,WTF!

If I decide not to pay my taxes I know that I will be spending time at her majesty's pleasure. No ifs, buts or maybe's.

The MP's expenses scandals here are outrageous. Some MP's have resigned, others have decided to pay back what they claimed for. Okay they shouldn't have put in such outrageous claims in the first place, but I think it is a good thing, that some are paying it all back.

I wondered whether any politician in Kenya would ever consider paying back the money they had stolen in the various scandals, I don't see it happening.

M makes some strong points about how the UNDP need to get serious.

Related article: Leadership incompetence the cause of Africa's woes

Then we have Somali pirates who take early retirement , and launder their money easily by investing in property, hotels, shopping arcades, and trucking companies in Kenya.

Update Related article: Chasing the Somali piracy money trail

Life goes on as always.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Barack Obama will not be visiting Kenya on his Africa trip

I dread going to work when my Ghanaian colleague will be in. As I know he will ask me why Obama chose Ghana instead of Kenya for his first trip to Africa.

My initial reaction when I read about this was charity begins at home, at least that is what my mother always drummed into me. So, I couldn't get it.

On reflection, I see it as tough love. Barack Obama will not visit Kenya until we have sorted ourselves out. Whenever that will be.

Clearly Ghana had free and fair elections and has a good model of governance.

It can happen in Africa, but will it happen in Kenya despite our history.

I live in hope.

Update:Related article Why Obama will not visit Kenya

Update two Related article:Kenya: Country's Honeymoon With Obama Has Turned Sour

Monday, 18 May 2009

Big man syndrome lives on in Malawi

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has summoned a meeting with Commissioners of Police and their deputies, all District Commissioners at Sanjika today to technically brief them on how to rig the Tuesday elections.

Mutharika who has openly conceded that the race is between him and Tembo has promised to double-kick the opposition coalition in a "Kibaki style" in reference to Kenyan elections which were fraudulent.
Sources have revealed that Mutharika has told close party faithful and aides that they should not worry about losing the elections next week as the DPP is not accepting anything less than victory.
"I and the DPP are not going anywhere. We will not be moved even if we lose the vote. I know Malawians love me and want to see the DPP government continuing. It is that Muluzi and Tembo who want to stop the people's will so why accept the loss if the majority in all corners of the country want us," Mutharika is reportedly to have said.
Mutharika went to assure his politburo that any pockets of violence will be crashed by the police and the army within seconds.

Quotes from Malawi ruler plans to do a Kibaki

Well, what can I say, other than I hope that there is no violence in Malawi when this happens. I will be watching closely.

Africa jameni!

Honest Scrap Award

Marvin K Tumbo of Proud to be Kenyan blog has awarded me with the Honest Scrap Award.

Big Thanks to you Marvin for the honour.


Things you need to do if you receive the award

  • Brag about the award.

  • Include the name of the blogger who gave you the award, and link back to them in your blog post.

  • Choose a minimum of seven bloggers who you find brilliant in content or design.

  • Show their names and links and leave them comments on their blogs to let them know you have awarded them.

  • List at least ten honest things about yourself.

I have a rule about not writing anything too personal about myself on this blog, but hey this is an exception.

  1. I have a very sweet tooth and love liquorice, and treacle toffees.

  2. Everything I eat at home is organic, but I have to compromise when I go out to friends, or eat out. There are too many additives in the food here, in London. So Wholefoods is where I do my food shop. Most of my friends and colleagues make fun of me, and think I am a new age nutter. I use organic skincare, haircare,and all my household cleaning products are chemical free.

  3. I have lived in London for half of my life.

  4. I love to be by the sea, and find that it chills me out. I cry whenever I touch down at Mombasa airport, as I love the Kenyan coast, and have so many good memories there. Swahili men, make me smile when they tune.

  5. Several strangers have come up to me in churches and told me that I am a healer.

  6. Most Black people that I meet in the UK think I am from the Carribean(from the small islands not Jamaica),and think I am lying when I tell them I am Kenyan. I always ask them what an African is supposed to look like, and the standard response is you can tell the difference. What a load of rubbish. When I was at the coast last , the hotel staff thought we were all African American, until my mum broke into vernacular, and the deep one at that, lol.

  7. Most men that I meet think that I am ten years younger than I am. It is problematic,as I get a lot of younger guys chatting me up, and I don't feel comfortable dating anyone younger than me.

  8. I love to read. My flat has floor to ceiling bookshelves, and I spend a fair amount on books.

  9. I don't drink or smoke.

  10. I once went to work with my trousers on inside out. I worked in a team of six people, and saw clients throughout the day. Noone told me until 1.00pm, but I had noticed some funny looks on the underground in the morning. You see I love my sleep,and am clearly not vain.

The seven bloggers that I am tagging with the Honest Scrap award, and who I think are brilliant in content and design are :

Daudi Were at Mental Acrobatics

Odegle Nyang

Thinkers room

Kenyan Psychiatrist

Porky Gourmand


Kenyan Jurist

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Kenyan Kangas in fashion this season in LA

Suno has taken kangas to LA and has introduced a limited edition .

I love going to Mombasa,down Biashara st, and adding to my collection of Kangas whenever I visit.

I always buy a number for the relas, when I am there. I gave my grandmother a set, that she loved,a number of years ago.The saying on the bottom of the kanga was that we get lots of blessings from our grandparents, and cannot shower them with enough love. She was so moved when I gave her this set.She wore them all the time, and when she passed over,asked that they be given back to me.

Update Related article: We have Obama fries

Sunday, 10 May 2009

When a title deed means nothing

Kenyans in the diaspora who have invested in land back home could lose what they have worked so hard for. They claim agents colluded with the government to sell them public land.

Over the past six years, the Government has spent a lot of resources wooing Kenyans in the Diaspora to invest back home.

And the move has borne fruits. Money transfers from the Diaspora now stand at Sh78 billion, an amount that has shot up from about Sh59 billion in 2005.

In Kiambu West District, about seven such investors could lose over Sh150million they have invested in residential houses.

Quotes from Kenyans abroad could lose big in land scandal.

This is so not funny. Hard earned money down the drain.

I feel for these guys who could lose their money, I know a number of people who have worked some crazy hours, with several jobs to raise the money.

You know, at this point I don't think anything will shock me.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Kenyan man could not take the sex strike

A Kenyan man has sued activists who encouraged women to give up sex with their partners for a week.

He claims the lack of sex caused him distress. I wonder what this guy does when his wife has her period.

It reminds me of a friend of mine who had some gynaecological surgery. She needed a few weeks to heal, it was obvious. Yet her husband still wanted to have sex with her regardless. He knew how much pain she was in, and that it was harmful, and still insisted.

I guess some people can't control themselves.

It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this court case is.

Does the Kenyan judicial system have time for men who don't get some for a week?

Thursday, 7 May 2009

People help me understand

I read about the Kenyan Arsenal fan who hung himself when Arsenal lost, and could not believe it.

I would like to believe that this poor man had some other underlying issues, and the Arsenal loss, was the straw that broke the camel's back.

If not, I cannot understand how a man can kill himself over a football match.

I cannot understand how some men become extremely violent when their team has lost, and you have to make sure, that you don't make them aware that you were not supporting their team.

Why do some men want to fight after footie?

Okay to an extent I know booze is involved, but still.

I live pretty close to a football ground, and can remember sometime last year, when a certain team was playing the cops were out in force. I am talking, horses, riot police in their hundreds. They were expecting some serious violence from this team. I wondered what was going to happen to our neighbourhood. These guys were also known to be racist,and I live in a very multicultural area, so made sure not to manga manga after the match.

Then on the tube home this evening, I read about the Chelsea referee, who had to be smuggled out of Britain because of death threats.

Now, is it just me or are these guys mad?

Help me understand please?

Saturday, 2 May 2009

More of the same in some parts of Africa

Zimbabwe’s bloated government is heading the same way as Kenya's

The core of the problem in both Kenya and Zimbabwe is that incumbent parties which lost elections refuse to hand over power. The winners were persuaded to accept negotiated settlements by the promise that the resulting unity governments would be temporary, but have ended up shooting themselves in the foot. Neither Kibaki nor Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe are prepared to risk a free and fair election, so they are content to drag things out indefinitely. The longer there is no progress, the weaker the position of the opposition.

Nkazwi Mhango raises the question that power sharing deals could be Africa's Anathema.

Africa has come a long hard way. Before this anathema-power sharing was devised, the barrel of the gun used to be the means for power hungry monsters. We saw Yoweri Museveni ( Uganda ) Meles Zenawi ( Ethiopia ), Jonas Savimbi ( Angola ), Paul Kagame ( Rwanda ), Pierre Nkurunzinza (Burundi), Laurent Kabila (DRC) and others coming to power by the barrel of the gun.

After some of them overstayed in power, we wrongly thought that the current monsters supported by hoi polloi, opposing them would be a solution. Nay! They are all the same. To me whoever does not fight graft and listen to the electorate, is as good as any power hungry monster.

That power sharing has proved to be an abracadabra… what should Africa do? The hoi polloi should stop allowing themselves to be used by power barking mad monsters. Instead of pinning hopes onto a wrong horse, people must agitate for real changes. They must use the same popularity they rendered to their traitors in question, to oust them as they strengthen democratic institutions such as the constitution. With civic disobedience, no looter can rule any hank of land in Africa. This is but a new and sure way forward.

Global press freedom declines

There were setbacks highlighted in Israel, Italy, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Kenya should be in there somewhere.

Following is Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message for World Press Freedom Day, observed 3 May:

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees everyone the right "to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers". On World Press Freedom Day, we reiterate the central importance of this right -- and the need to protect the journalists and media outlets on the frontlines of exercising it.

Attacks on journalists remain shockingly high in number. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 11 journalists have been killed in the line of duty so far this year. Among them was Lasantha Wickrematunge, a prominent Sri Lankan journalist assassinated in January on his way to work. I call on the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that those responsible for his murder are found and prosecuted. UNESCO has honoured Mr. Wickrematunge posthumously with its World Press Freedom Prize for 2009, to be presented in a Press Freedom Day ceremony in Doha.

The CPJ also reports that, as of 1 December 2008, 125 journalists were in prison. Some have been incarcerated for years -- and some for more than a decade. Three countries -- China, Cuba and Eritrea -- account for half of those cases. I urge all Governments that have detained journalists to ensure that their rights are fully respected, including the right to appeal and defend themselves against charges.

I am also concerned that some Governments are suppressing Internet access and the work of Internet-based journalists and others using the "new media". Not surprisingly, blogging has flourished in countries where restrictions on media are toughest. Now, according to the CPJ, some 45 per cent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers. I urge all Governments to respect the rights of these citizen journalists, who may lack the legal resources or political connections that might assist them in gaining their freedom.

Quotes from Free, independent media essential agent of human rights, development, peace, says Secretary-General, in World Day message.

The Kenyan blogosphere definitely keeps me up to date with what is going on at home. December 2007, it was a lifeline, even if it involved me having to log onto Mashada. I am grateful for the all the differing content that is out there, that enables me to get a sense of what is happening on the ground.

It was great to be able to text the folks,relatives, and friends during those times, and tell them to avoid certain trouble spots.Sad that they had to rely on information from outside, to get the whole picture.