Friday, February 25, 2005

Error of Omission?

I do not know what to make of this, the statehouse website has a picture of three individuals looking over some products. However, they only identify the president and the dude standing right next to him, however, they fail to mention that the minsiter of health is right across from the prezi. Error of Omission, or deliberate action?

More KUDOS to West Africans and the AU

I am so happy that the quest for democracy has trumped military dictatorship in Togo. I know that this is a small victory and the struggle goes on, but the journey has begun. I wish that this will not be a shortlived and we will continue with this struggle to democratize the continent. However, now that Faure has decided to quit, I hope that the West Africans and the rest of the international community will be willing to lend Togo the assistance that it needs to hold peaceful, free and fair elections.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ozzy on Africa (Kenya to be specific)

I was casually flipping through my tele a couple of nights ago and I happen to land on the Osbournes on MTV. As usually Ozzy was having one of his fits, cussing a bunch, his wife was trying to calm him down, his daughter was all melodramatic and stuff, and all that other good stuff. But something caught my ear, the folks were talking about Africa. It seems that the wife and daughter had been invited by OXFAM to go to Kenya for some charity thingamajig. Let us just say Ozzy was not pleased. Dude, a jammaa unleashed all the stereotypes about Africa that one can get, from disease (from one bite by a "bug" like we do not have hospitals), death, no luxury etc... I was floored. I felt like leaping into the tele and ending this drug drenched saps life.

I know Africa ain't perfect, but we ain't as bad as he made it out to be. Well the ladies from OXFAM tried to convince Sharon that it would be an interesting trip, though she would have to take some medical precautions (anti malarial pills, vaccinations etc). Well when it came to the final decision, the lady decided not to go, why, well we do not have coco channel in Kenya and no five star accomodations. If she only knew that Bill Gates has a habit of vacationing in this backwater they call Kenya. I was disgusted by the whole affair.

For a synopsis of the episode, please see link:

Friday, February 18, 2005

Kenya Blog Meme

Favorite Kenyan Food:
- I like me a mutura dripping with blood and pili pili.
- Any sought of nyama choma (Kuku, mbuzi, ng'ombe, you name I love it)
- Ugali, sukuma and matumbo with a shit load of royco.
- Farmers choice streaky bacon
- KCC salted butter. I could eat this stuff alone, its so goddamn good.

Favorite Kenyan Drink:
- My late grandma's fermented porridge.
- Muratina
- Pili ice
- Safari cane and ginger ale
- Almost forgot TEA. A brotha from Limuru likes this shit, would drink a whole flask back in the day. My folks are zombies if they have none every 2 hours.

Favorite TV progi:
- OMO pick a box. (money or the box)
- I forget the name, but it was a game show on KTN, they would ask varoius general knowledge
questions and shit like that. I wonder if it still comes.

Favorite Hang Place:
- Bob's in Mombasa.
- Soho's in Westlands
- Memories in Limuru

Favorite holiday destination:
- Late grandma's place in Limuru

3 phrases I use alot:
- Sa sawa
- Mazee
- hebu I tell you

3 things abut Kenya/Kenyans that make me go hmmm...
- Rugby tournas are an excuse to get totally wasted, forget the rugby.
- we will drink virtually anything with alcohol in it (Kumi Kumi. Power etc)
- Alcohol sold in sachets (gunia as some call them)

3 questions non-Kenyans ask about Kenya/Kenyans that make you go 'hmmm'
- Do wild animals roam in you backyard?
- You guys speak english?
- Is everyone there poor?

3 things about Kenya/Kenyans which non-Kenyans ought to know
- $1 can buy you alot more in Kenya than in the states.
- We sell beer in 32 oz bottles, not 12 oz (so stop bragging about how many u can swallow)
- Kenya (and Africa in general) is way more than 1 big national park.

Complete this sentence: I am Kenyan because...
- Dude, just because I am. Just had a big discussion abotu what makes me an African, I do not
need to justify my Kenyaness. I am coz I am

3 members of the Kenyan Blog Ring you would like to see complete this quiz
- Thinker's Room
- Pressure makes Diamond
- Delusions of Grandeur

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Could it be that Falwell et al. are right

This is just a funny ass clip. I know that ones mind has to really be in the gutter to see the sexual innuendo, but it got me thinking, if this sought of thing was happening back then, is it possible that Spongebob and teletubbies are indeed part of a grand gay conspiracy?

Getting drunk by any means possible

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Kenyan Foreign Policy

These two articles are quite interesting. A couple of days back I was talking with a mate of mine and the issue of Kenyan foreign policy came up, we observed that Nigeria, South Africa and Senaegal are slowly becoming the dominant players in African foreign affairs. The three countries seem to have a hand in all the issues affaceting Africa, from Darfur, Ivory Coast and DRC. We observed that Kenya seems to have diminished in capacity since NARC came to power, we are no longer very involved in the foreign affairs arena (remember the Sudan and Somali peace initiatives were begun under Moi and NARC simply finished what had been started (but this is not to diminish the governments achievements). But it was said somewhere - I can not recall where - that Moi was a Statesman and Kibakis is a mere carricuture of the professor (believe me it was no KANU lacky who said this), but considering the lack of activism on a myraid of issues affecting the continent - especially DRC, NEPAD, AU etc, I am of the opinion that Kenya is slowly losing its luster on the African stage. As one of the four anchor states (according to the US) we should - I believe - be more involved in Africa, I need to see Kibaki going on more international trips, and hosting more peace conferences etc.. just see him doing more top ensure that our interests are taken care of in Africa. As the standard article notes, we seem to be losing out to SA and Nigeria and I for one detest that.

Another issue that has been on my mind for a while, has been the lack of foreign policy discourse in Kenya. We have think tanks that focus on Economic maters (KIPPRA AND IPAR), but we have none that look at analyzing Kenya's position in the world. We need a Council of Foreign Relations that will focus on providing analysis that provides a more wholisitic view of public policy:

"Undoubtedly, the lack of high-level debates about the Government’s policy intentions and practices are signs of an unhealthy democratic discourse. The fact that there are no discussions outside Government has denied it the opportunity to tap into expert knowledge.
The Government is deprived of this expertise as it has no foreign policy think-tank or a roster of experts from academia it can summon to propose policy positions that serve the national interest.
In view of the increasing role that Kenya is being called upon to play in international politics, it is time for a comprehensive review of its foreign policy and affairs.
To play an active role in the international arena, Kenya needs to recruit and train a high-calibre foreign service corp, composed of experts in fields such as trade, science, technology, and law."

In an ever "globalizing" world, we can not afford to focus only on economics and leave out a the foreign policy and security studies that come with working in the international community.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

This was just to funny

Africa Unite

Africa, Unite 'Cause we're moving right out of BabylonAnd we're going to our father's land

How good and how pleasant it would be Before God and man, yeahTo see the unification of all Africans, yeah. As it's been said already let it be done, yeahWe are the children of the RastamanWe are the children of the Higher Man

So Africa, Unite 'cause the children wanna come home. Africa, Unite 'cause we're moving right out of BabylonAnd we're grooving to our father's land

How good and how pleasant it would be Before God and ManTo see the unification of all Rastaman, yeah

As it's been said already let it be doneI tell you who we are under the sun. We are the children of the Rastaman We are the children of the Higher Man

So, Africa, Unite, Africa, Unite. Unite for the benefit of your peopleUnite for it's later than you think Unite for the benefit of your children. Unite for it's later than you think

Africa awaits its creators, Africa awaiting its creators. Africa, you're my forefather cornerstone. Unite for the Africans abroad, unite for the Africans a yard Africa, Unite

The late and Great rastaman, BOB MARLEY

Friday, February 11, 2005

Qudos West African Leaders

I am very heartened that West African leaders are willing to voice their disdain at the travesty that occured in Togo over the weekend. In light of what the Europeans did after the frudulent Ukraine elections, I am proud to see tha our leaders are beinnning to show some backbone when it comes to supporting Democracy in Africa. I know that some will argue that its all because Togo is a big country, and that African leaders still refuse to critique comrade Mugabe. But we must start somewhere, we may allow the old despots to rule, but let us not allow new ones to crop up.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


"We want you [White Farmers] to stay and to farm well in this country. This is the policy of the government. WHAT THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS IS EXPERIENCE, and I don't care where it comes from. I will take it with both hands." Mzee Jomo Kenyatta addressing white farmers in Nakuru (Aug 12th 1963)

I found this article quite interesting:

The author some very valid points. Just because an individual is 55 years plus, does not mean that he is useless to society, he/she continues to hold a great repository of knowledge and expertise in his particular field, this is particularily so in the public sector. If we are to be a nation that believes in non-discrimination, then we must not discriminate against those who are 55 years or older. As the author points out, African culture is very respectful of elders and used to rely on them for advice on a myriad of issues. As long as a public servant is competent, they should be allowed to work, until that point when they are no longer useful.

On the otherhand, I believe that the government should creat active training programs that would allow younger civil servants to work under more experienced practitioners, and develop the skills necessary to take over the jobs of the older individuals. In the 60's and 70's, Kenya undertook a gradual and sytematic "Africanization" of the economy, and I think it served us pretty well. We should also embark on a gradual and deliberate "Younginization" of our civil service. We should not do it in one revolutionary sweep, but use the older civil servants as mentors, to train the younger, promising civil servants.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


During the Moi era I would always hear the old man and his cronies complaining about foreign pressure, they would go as far as to denounce the diplomats for getting involved in Kenya's local politics. I must admit that my reaction to these tantrums was quite mixed, on the one hand I could see that the diplomats were putting forward valid points about the lack of political freedom, and transparency in government activities and the opposition would always support the diplomats. On the other hand, I am quite a patriotic Kenyan and do not like Muzungus lecturing my government on how to function, the term NEOCOLONIALISM would constantly pop in my mind, why are these bastards constantly bitching to my nation, I thought we were an independent nation. How would the people of America feel if our ambassador released a statement condemning Clinton for his moral shortcomings or problems with the procurement of meals from Halliburton? Would they not scream bloody murder. And then it hit me, contrary to what minister Kiraitu Murungi's contention that diplomats should not act like: "Local Partisan Political Activists" (EA Standard 2/10/05), foreign governments are indeed political activists in Kenya, they are a lobby group, and interest group that has a stake in how the country runs.

A wise man once uttered these words: "He [man] cannot be ECONOMICALLY FREE, or even ECONOMICALLY EFFICIENT, if he is ENSLAVED POLITICALLY; conversely, mans' POLITICAL FREEDOM is ILLUSORY if he is dependent for his ECONOMIC NEEDSon the state." Barry Goldwater, "The Conscience of a Conservative"

Senator Goldwater was speaking of communism and the welfare state, but I believe his words feet perfectly into our current dilemma. Kenya is heavily dependent for her economic survival on the largesse of donors, every year we need billions of shillings to plug budget shortfalls, and these funds usually come with conditions attached. These conditions typically give the donors significant sway on our policies and they therefore, become an interest group in our political arena. This has been so for a very long time and is unlikely to change, for a long time.

Is the situation a good thing or a bad thing? I do not know. Asked the Indians or Thais and they will probably tell you that getting foreign aid is not good. But what are the alternatives, I doubt our markets are mature enough to be able to survive the shocks that come with constant borrowing from the world market, what Thomas Friendman in his book: "The Lexus and Olive Tree", calls the "long and short horn herd". Putting on the " Golden straight jacket" could be more traumatic, and painful for our economy and people. I do not think that we have reached that point yet.

I have become resigned to the fact that for the foreseeable future, Kenya will continue to rely on foreign aid and with that, will have to adhere to the relatively lax "conditions" imposed on us by the donor countries. If Thomas Friedman has it right in his book, we could be facing more stringent conditions (though less intrusion into our politics) if we were to solely rely on the world financial markets for our aid.

"We refuse to be dictated to.We d not want FOREIGNERS to run our anti-corruption campaign." Vice President Moody Awori, Daily Nation 02/04/05

I am sorry uncle, if you want their money, you have to accept their input. They are just like any other constituent, probably even more powerful, they may not be able to vote your out of office, but they can make you stay in office very difficult, jus ask the former professor of politics.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraq Elections

Kenyans have a lot to be thankful for, in the past thirteen years we have ushered in the multiparty era and begun on the road to creating a vibrant and lasting democracy. Most Kenyans can appreciate (better than I can) the brutality, corruption, and utmost depravity of the single party dictatorship. We can remember the rigged elections, torture chambers, secret police, tribal conflict and the list goes on. But we are passed that, we are slowly (with the help of others) transitioning into a more perfect democracy, it has not been easy and the road ahead is difficult, but one thing we can appreciate is that we are free. It fills my heart with joy to see a nation fight (or be assisted) to free itself from the bear hug of authoritarian rule. I enjoyed watching Slobodan Milosevic toppled from power, the site of young (and old people) demonstrating enmass and forcing him out. I loved watching "People Power 2" remove the corrupt regime of Joseph Estrada, in the Philippines. I was heartened by the toppling of Servanadzes regime in Georgia and most recently the “orange revolution” in Ukraine and many other examples of people taking control of their own destinies and toppling unpopular governments.

With this in mind, I must say that I am glad the Iraqis are know free, they have been able to shake of the shackles of dictatorship, and I can only wish them well in their struggle to form a new and thriving democracy. This Sunday they showed that they care about their country and are willing to put up a fight to ensure the success of their democracy. It will take a long time for the Iraqis to realize their dream and the fact that they had a good day, should not obscure the fact that they have a long way to creating a more perfect union; but they have begun on the journey. I believe it is incumbent upon all peace loving and freedom loving individuals, regardless of their views on the legitimacy of the war, to support the Iraqis as they pursue their dream of a peaceful and democratic society.

The Iraqi’s deserve peace and freedom as much as Kenyans do.