Tag Archives: Kenya

Kenya Elite Mocked By Puppets!!

There are many red faces among Kenya’s leading politicians as they struggle to figure out how to combat a new enemy. The political opponent is not human, the opponent can not be arrested and tortured into a confession because their new enemy is simply a group of puppets who mock them for their corruption and inefficiency. A rapping president describes himself as a “bad dude;” a prime minister and vice-president argue over who gets which bathroom and a group of members of parliament suffer from an incurable disease–“corruptophaelia.” The daring puppet satire, known as “Splitting Image,” dawned last spring and its barbs of wit have embarrassed many leading Kenya political leaders who are uncertain how to combat the words of a puppet who too frequently speaks the truth in words that express the feeling of thousands.

One episode posed the question of “What if Kenya was perfect?” and then depicted President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga in j ail in the Hague for crimes against humanity. The creator of the puppet show, Godfrey “Gado” Mwampembwa had expected to be arrested, but so far the good news is laughter not jail.

I wonder if Gado would travel to America and offer his puppets to depict corrupt Republican political leaders who believe shouts of hatred are more necessary than shouts of love.

International Or National Kenya Trials?

The people of Kenya are attempting to deal with the horror that arose during last year’s presidential election when Kibaki government unleashed violence against their opponents, many of whom were of different tribal groups. The conflict now emerging is whether those who perpetuated the violence should be tried before the International Criminal Court of Justice or should trials be conducted at the local level. At a meeting with Kenyans in the United States, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he supported trials being conducted by the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission, but he has now come out in support of trials at the local level by local courts.

The question is whether it is possible to have “justice” if defendants are tried at the local level. Many believe it might be necessary to have trials conducted by outside groups such as the International Criminal Court. However, South Africa was able to try defendants by their Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Somalia Heats Up With Terrorism

Once upon a time in Africa, concern for its people focused on economic development, but through a series of miscues and concentration on “terrorism” the issues of the continent have been subordinated to military rather than economic growth. Somalia is in chaos, it was in chaos before Bush pushed Ethiopia two years ago to invade, but its people live in perennial violence and it becomes virtually impossible to identify who are the bad, good, terrorist guys. It is estimated at least 7,000 Somalis each month flee to refuge in Kenya. Of course this only results in furthering terrorism in that nation.

Sheikh Abdullah Dahir Shurie in Kenya bemoans that so many young men have been beguiled by dreams of jihad and are flocking to the banners of Somali militants. Moderate clerics are doing their best to shift attention away from voyaging to Somali in order to die for all the wrong reasons.

Does anyone know who is in control of Somalia, let alone who should be supported? We give up.

Hillary Clinton Wants Kenya Accounting

Last year the nation of Kenya was wracked by horrible violence following the disputed election of Kibaki which was challenged by opposition leader Odinga. During the ensuing chaos, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes as sectarian and political groups clashed. It is estimated thousands were killed or injured during the riots. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on an extended visit to African nations and in her first stop in Kenya she berated the nation’s leaders for failure to follow up the violence with a serious investigation into who was behind the killings.

There has been talk of a investigation by the International Criminal Court in order to establish the bottom line in African nations that when an election is stolen, those responsible for violence will be held accountable. She urged establishment of a Special Tribunal with independent investigative power, but this most probably will not happen.

Kenya can establish a precedent by initiating an independent investigation and it would send a message to neighboring Zimbabwe where President Mugabe continues to violate the law by harassing opposition leaders following his own fraudulent election.

Are Kenya Policemen A Law Unto Themselves?

A UN official who has been visiting Kenya told reporters he has uncovered evidence that Kenya police operate with impunity and regard their decisions as final in dealing with those they deem to be criminals. “I (found) the existence of a systematic, widespread and clearly planned strategy to execute individuals carried out on a regular bais by Kenya police.” UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston urged President Kibaki to fire the Police Commissioner and to initiate an impartial investigation into these killings. A government spokesperson rushed to the defense of the police and claimed Alston’s report was made “in bad faith, almost impinging on matters of sovereignty.” Naturally, the Police Commissioner insisted all was well in the world and no one was getting executed.

There is scant doubt wagons are being drawn into the circle as everyone in the government rushes to the defense of the status quo.

Kenya President Supports Media Control Bill

President Kibaki of Kenya signed into law a new bill which empowers the government to take action against the media on grounds it is protecting national security. The controversial Communications Bill 2008 the government is given powers to restrict the freedom of the media during a period of national emergency. Prime Minister Raila Odinga had promised the media the bill would not be signed by the president, but, apparently, President Kibaki decided to double-cross his own prime minister. Machaia Gaitho, chair of the Editors Guild, described the bill as “retrogressive” and said the president simply wanted a tool to “clamp down on democracy” even though all factions in the media opposed passage of such a restrictive bill.

Kibaki insists the bill allows economic development to proceed by giving the government power to deal with electronic transactions. “While press freedom is a cardinal pillar of democracy, this is a right that carries with it special duties and responsibilities. Press freedom must be counterbalanced with other freedoms and must at all times take into account the overriding interest and safety of Kenya.”

The president’s words match those of every tyrant who has used “national emergency” or the “safety of the population” to throttle the forces of democracy.

AIDs Resistance Resists Cure Efforts

The war on Aids in Africa has encountered a new enemy– the patient. New reports indicate more and more patients are developing a resistance to drugs and making them less effective as a means of curing people of the disease. According to Dr. Issac Malinza, an HIV specialist, “when patients experience the side effects of any drug, it predisposes them to resist complying with treatment, hence drug resistance. The government of Kenya is considering making drastic changes in drug treatment for the Aids disease.

Sources claim the World Health Organization has recognized the problem and is developing new drug programs that will overcome the resistance. It becomes increasingly clear the world has yet to find a cure and the remedies in effect run the risk of confronting resistance to the cure. What then?

Kenya Model For Zimbabwe Conflict!

The current crisis in Zimbabwe has made many Africans painfully aware they confronted a similar situation a few months ago that eventually was resolved without a massive collapse of the nation. Raila Odinga, who was cheated of an electoral victory for the presidency, put aside his anger and agreed to cooperate with President Kibak in a coalition government that seeks to avoid the madness that now dominates Zimbabwe where a megalomaniac president is unleashing his armed force and police on those who dare to oppose his rule. Odinga in the new role of prime minister of the country, is currently visiting the United States where he shared with the media the emotions he experienced in deciding to cooperate rather than to fight.

He accepted the coalition government and its large cabinet in order to achieve peace. “The soul-searching we went through on our journey to that point, the sacrifices and compromises that had to be made, the need to address Kenyans’ sense of being wronged and heir unresolved grievances all made for a delicate balancing act.”

Raila Odinga confronted the same situation that is now present in Zimbabwe. Perhaps, the difference is that President Kibaki listened carefully to advice from African leaders and backed away from resorting to violence in order to maintain power. It is clear Robert Mugabe has no such intention and is willing to completely destroy his nation in the quest for power and control.

Kenya Compromise Produces A Cabinet

The ongoing saga of whether Kenya will have a coalition government or chaos was hopefully resolved with the announcement a power-sharing arrangement will be in place. Oppositon leaer Raila Odinga has been appointed prime minister anda new 42 member cabinet replaces the previous 17 member one. “Let’s build a new Kenya where justice is our shield and defender, and where pace, liberty and plenty will be found throughout our country,” said President Kibaki. Former UN chief Kofi Annan brokered the arrangement which provides more positions in government to the opposition Orange Development Movement.

There is little doubt the new Cabinet will be rather expensive given its huge size, but, in the long run, spending money to provide jobs for politicians is less expensive than dealing with street demonstrations and the anger of mobs.

Why Kenya Peace Talks Collapsed!

The Kenya Daily Standard reported a member of President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity engaged in a heated exchange with the Panel of Eminent Persons led by Kofi Annan. As a result of the apparent Kibaki refusal to compromise, Kofi Annan has suspended any further discussions to resolve the impasse arising from the fraudulent election for president. The Daily Standard says the Kibaki minister exploded when Annan tried to steer discussions towards what was already drafted in the report of the Legal Working Group. In the ensuing exchange of words, accusations and epithets were hurled around the room as the PNU and the Orange Democratic Movement confronted one another in a slinging match. Both Annan and former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa found themselves attacked and questions raised about their integrity.

The Kibaki rejection of a fair election has resulted in 1000 people dead in Kenya and over 500,000 displaced. Annan was sad that neither party appeared able to grasp the enormity of the situation and the importance of compromise. A major stumbling block is refusal on the part of President Kibaki to surrender some of his power to a prime minister who would come from the ODM.

Secretary of State Condi Rice told the Kenyan leaders, “we will draw our own conclusions about who is responsible for lack of progress and take the necessary steps. We will also exert leadership with the United Nations.”