Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kikuyus owe nobody an apology!

I was told it's Kenya against kikuyus... I guess we are no longer Kenyans.

That we have been stacking up for ourselves for far too long. Need I remind anyone that a kikuyu has led Kenya for 5 out of the last 29 years?

That we are greedy, we are all over Kenya. Last I checked it was a free country. And next time you want to accuse kikuyus of being rich because they steal, think about the fact that they are "everywhere" as you call it. It is how they get rich. They see an opportunity and they follow it. And you? You? You get mad and remain poor.

Did you know Indians don't have shops in most central province townships? The kikuyus have learnt the art of business and have run with that knowledge. Is this the same for your hometown? if not, ask yourself what the implications of that are.

About that they have old money, who owes you an apology that they settled in the highlands because they are farmers by nature,suffered the greatest personal losses from colonization, reaped the benefits of education from the same colonialists, fought for their freedom and took back their lands with enough knowledge to farm; in a primarily agricultural economy, prospered and continued to build themselves up. How do you feel that you have been wronged by this?

Did you know there are poor kikuyus?

And that we are not all related to Kenyatta?

But are all largely related to a freedom fighter somewhere?

Why not your people, you ask? I don't know. But remember, none of us chose where we were born. Plus, you could start by looking inwards instead of outwards for the problem.

Such as choosing to change, adaptability, edification and common sense. And some risk taking. personal growth too.

Recall the closest tribes to the colonialists were both the Masai and the kikuyus. Look how that turned out. Yes, yes, yes, Attitude is everything! And so are cultural influences. Maybe the greatest gift we got from the white man as kikuyus was an absolute dilution of culture, so we could be free to prosper, devoid of cultural chains.

And taking to stoning and burning investments in your local area when aggravated and wondering why there is never any progress is not smart. Rebuilding is costly and that money could have been used for prosperity.

Unless you think a kikuyu who comes across money should turn away because they are kikuyu so that they let the other person have it, shut up about this rubbish.

Why would I post about kikuyus and apologies? Because I wish everyone would stop pretending this isn't a tribalistic situation. Actually it's a step away from Rwanda. This is not about Kibaki or his government. This is about the kikuyu tribe. Which explains why the local kikuyu has already had their business burnt and perhaps their home and is probably in hiding as we speak. let's attempt open dialogue for a change. It might improve things.

I'm ashamed at the extent of educated, I would have thought sophisticated persons, calling for or condoning or quietly supporting calls for war.

Go to war. Let it rid you of kikuyus. Then you can all sit in that country, all 41 tribes of you, and love each other. You will always trust each other. It won't be over, the liaison that is; after the common enemy is gone. Nooooo. You'll all always be friends and can get along great forever and ever.

There ends the fairy tale.

We the kikuyus have had to shelter relatives after Molo. We now have relatives whose lives are in jeopardy. But we're all human. And this crap has gotten old to us too. Stop the damn madness. No one owes you an apology! If you're failing, it's probably because of something you did wrong; unless your parents failed you. If your village is, same thing. And that applies to kikuyus as well. Killing kikuyus will not build schools for you, or put money in your pockets. Grow up already!

Should we as a country kill Americans next because they are so damn successful? And always feeling a step ahead of us? And economically vibrant, hence able to influence events? Or does this argument end with kikuyus?

If it doesn't make sense one way, it doesn't make sense at all, period!

****Feel free to get as blatantly honest as you need to should you want to comment. Just not abusive.****

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Peace above all else!

And these goes to both ODM and PNU supporters.

There are posts such as this calling for bloodshed should Kibaki win. Why? What does democracy mean to all of you people? It means that as far as voters go, some will have favorable outcomes and others not so favorable outcomes. democracy always has victims. And you should always be aware of this as you head out to vote.

These results are not shocking. They agree very much with preliminary polls that were carried before the elections were held. We all knew it was going to be close. So grow up and wait for the ECK.

Those claiming rigging, if you don't have tangible evidence, stop propagating propaganda! You're directly contributing to any bloodshed that will occur here next!

Please note that most ODM supporters were ok with the results when Odinga was ahead by far. Truth be told, his strongholds had been tallied and Kibakis had not yet. This current figures following those should not be surprising, shocking or alarming to anyone with any common sense and understanding of the process. if you must edify yourself about the process then do so, but don't make it your place to create victims of this elections.

The counting stations are filled with observers from all over and have every party and candidate represented. So if you're claiming rigging, once again, I say prove it. Otherwise shut up and promote peace.

No one can call this election yet. It is too close to call. So sit back and let ECK work. The process is slow because there are that many voices to be heard, from every party. And every dispute starts a counting vote all over.

Why the panic over the final result? Why not have the confidence that you're going to win? And the common sense to let peace prevail if you don't?

Don't forget, the poorer you are, the likelier you are to be caught in a skirmish riot or melee. You are likely to be injured or to die. And it is also highly likely that you are the sole bread winner, with no savings in the bank.

people with money incite, then they sit at home and are safe, some with body guards; and you do their dirty work. The results here today are of no use to anyone if there is bloodshed in the streets. you won't have a place to go to work, hence you can't eat and seriously neither one of these two candidtaes in power is going to be that bad for you in a peaceful environment, as much as they arent really going to do anything for you on a personal note should they win. So what it is, is "Isn't that serious." Get to understanding your priorities. It's an election, and it's overall effect on you personally unless you lose your life or a loved one is not going to be that significant.

That's the truth. Give it a chance to set you free!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's D-Day

Finally, December 27th, 2007 has arrived.

It was my experience and countless others, as Kenyans who were not spending Christmas in Kenya, to call home to wish people a merry Christmas and end up engaged in a long conversation about elections. I don't quite think December 25, 2007 was that much Christmassy for many Kenyans, more like 2 days before they had to go vote. I found this to be encouraging. I hope that it means many Kenyans intend to go out and exercise their rights to vote, and with that, their rights to complain about all things wrong (not that they don't). hopefully, Kenyans after this, will learn to view their glasses as half full, a very elusive attitude amongst us as a nation.

I've been all over the web in the past 3 or 4 hours. I'm in search of a site that will be giving updates on the elections consistently throughout this process. No luck as of 11pm EST, Dec 26. Now I wonder why I don't pay for that service where for a certain fee I can get free access to news or something from some specific stations online. It appears I'm not the only one. I've made several calls to people I know who would be likely to have that service. Dead end as well. CNN is not talking about elections in Kenya at all. I guess they will be there as soon as some fracas and chaos breaks somewhere. Not a mention, not a whisper. there was a tiger zoo attack over Christmas and that's seems to be all they're discussing and periodic brief mentions of the upcoming caucuses. I haven't caught the BBC news yet, I hope they'll do better. If anyone knows where I can get some kind of consistent update please point me in that direction.

This blog has been clear about being a Kibaki, not necessarily PNU supporter. With that, I say may the best people win. I hope people have the common sense to vote wisely and accurately, including voting across political parties for candidates they feel are worthy to them. After all, if the politicians have taught us anything recently, it's that they have no loyalties to any parties. Hence, may all vote for the candidates not their parties. Perhaps I ask for too much!

I'd like to take a moment and applaud Kibaki's good work in the past 5 years. Obviously my personal opinion but one that needs to be heard. I hope he gets another 5. I quite sincerely don't see how anyone could lose from that. But in case the tide does not flow as I would like to see it, Asante sana bwana Kibaki. What you have done is still phenomenal!

I pray there will be no chaos and that this day will not be marred by the kinds of violence that were observed during the primaries. With that I send this prayer from our national Anthem

Oh God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty!

And all peace loving citizens said, Amen!!!!

(all times EST... hope to provide opinions and reactions from accessible diaspora).

I just called both my parents at 2 separate polling stations close to each other. The weather though a little rainy is favorable. They declare the glaring sun would have been much worse.

I'm told the voter turnout is phenomenal. - Kudos Kenyans!

Apparently there is a lot of tension in that particular area. Majimboism scares them and the hints of violence from ODM supporters have been loud and clear against kikuyus.

Not voting is being looked down upon. All stores are being opened only after their operators have a blackened thumb to show that they have already voted. Otherwise some hostile stares and comments would be witnessed. It is an unspoken rule that everyone should be voting.

So far so good. Voting is going well. Queues moving quickly. Security seems well planned.

Will be back with more as I get it. i wonder how many other Kenyans in the diaspora are finding it difficult to get as much as would feel adequate...

Best place for updates for kenyans in the diaspora so far seems to be They are including some posts from people across the nation in polling stations.

Absolutely no coverage from the huge media outlets. Pakistan's Bhutto has been assasinated. With this sad turn of events, no eyes are on Africa and hence there's no coverage of any kind of elections in Kenya. Also no hope that there will be any coverage, unless of course the situation turns into one of violence and bloodshed. So maybe it's a good thing that the elections are not being covered.

Still relying heavily on texts and opinions from the ground via The problem with these methods is just how different each person's tale seems to be.

Still barely any news coming in which is in itself good news - it means that there is no violence. It seems that I could actually go ahead and applaud Kenyans on a peaceful voting day without seeming to have spoken too soon. I pray and hope that the same peaceful, mature attitudes will be maintained as the election results come in and are broadcast to the public. While kazi iendelee is a PNU slogan, I insist that no matter what, "kazi iendelee". That means maintaining the peace and ushering in another prosperous 5 years for the country, regardless of the president elected today.

CNN and BBC are now streaming text at the bottom of the screens about Kenya having elections. No actual coverage; Benazir Bhutto's death and related broadcasts will continue to dominate the news channels throughout this day (may she RIP). Hopefully, they'll take a moment and announce the Kenyan election results after they are officially announced. continues to be the best source of news.

Provincial results have started streaming in slowly.

You can silently watch the results here.

Once again, I'm extremely proud of the peaceful day Kenyans observed as they cast their votes.

Ory explains the "missing names" in this post. They weren't really missing but better communication needed to have been exercised.

Is it possible that this has been the slowest tallying of votes in democratic elections history anywhere, ever? I need a good nights sleep...

Some serious ballot box inconsistencies noted ina few places including Kajiado North. What does it mean when ballot boxes are open and found to be empty?

When a helicopter drops some more ballot boxes, I personally declare it absolutely stupid to set these ablaze without deciphering if they are coming in late from a legitimate polling station; maybe after being wrongly delivered to an incorrect counting station. And to further burn ballots that were on the table? Stupidity has to cease!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Far from adequate!

The most disappointing thing any Kenyan can watch is NTV on youtube. Bull's eye makes it worse, but just watching our politicians creates a sad day indeed. And age is no factor. Ignorance surely is bliss when it comes to knowing exactly what it is these politicians do and say. I allowed myself to log into and watched NTV's bull's eye. I had no idea just how bad the political scene in Kenya is. It is so bad. I know it's possible that the situation looks much worse for those like me who haven't had to deal with it that directly for years, still I declare, words from a written column don't capture nary 25% of the drama. The way I see it,if this situation were to get worse down just one notch, we'd be about to be extinct by virtue of stupidity. If you ask me, something's gotta change!

I doubt it will though. Because the cheers that come from the crowds get louder as the deeds and words of the politicians or aspirants get more random and less professional. Quite frankly, the more inappropriate and borderline abusive they get, the louder the cheers get. I guess the politicians are just giving the crowds what they want. How sad that is, you have no idea.

Does no one demand and or expect professionalism from their leaders? And with these shenanigans as part of their daily campaigns and local addresses, how then do the citizens appear shocked that these same people are incapable of managing their daily situations to improve livelihoods? Nobody speaks of what they can do, they all speak of where they have been and the beefs they have with the other rivals. Stupid stupid stuff. Tactics that std six students might use to settle scores. Where is the substance? Where is the measure of intelligence? Where is leadership? Where is someone to spire to be like? Where is motivation? Where is hope? Where is a worthy person?

One after another they rise, they sing stupid songs, they say even dumber things. They incite stupid joy from a crowd that is to me amazing by their responses. And at the end of they day, they say nothing. A whole lotta words with nothing said. Their time would have been better spent washing dishes in their own homes.The crowd is well entertained and we all go home and start another day of campaigning, come sunrise the next day.

All well and good if this was a comedy tour!

Which it isn't.

And thus the sad part.

Somebody needs to start a "professional addresses: manners,etiquette and diplomacy" training program in that country. A secondary class will be issues that pertain to Kenya, locally and globally. And it should be mandatory for all politicians and aspirants to attend.

Quite frankly, the situation is so desperate that were anyone to actually start this training program, and suggest that elections be postponed until the courses were taken by all involved, they would have my vote.

What an entire disappointment. It is debated that there is an argument for dictatorship and colonization. Many of these clips support that statement! Kenyans you can do much better! Stop aiming so low always, Get better, do better and demand better!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Moving on to Dec 27th...

Interesting weekend Kenyans had, I'm sure. Of course, as with all issues important, Kenyans had to take it to chaos. That part was not shocking at all. It just goes to emphasize something I say often. You can change every single leader in that country, but if the common mwananchi does not begin to look into the mirror when demanding change, it will be one of those where "the more things change, the more they stay the same." But, since the aspirants have been often known to encourage violence, let them reap what they sow. Look at your work people, and then tell us what you think of it. In a matter of speaking, grade yourselves.

Primarily, I just wanted to commend a milestone in Kenya's political history. That was the first time people from different parties actually had a chance to determine who goes to the poll against their opposing parties candidates. I'm not quite sure how clear what the process represents entirely was to most Kenyans. I'm seriously never too sure of what it is Kenyans know for sure. As a total group, the majority is so used to being die hard followers of certain people of groups of people that they don't pay any attention to what is going on, they just do as they are told. if you can't tell by the tone of that sentence, I abhor that attitude. So I'm going to hope that it was clear to most that this was not election day and that they were picking their representatives at the polls come election day. Which makes me wonder if they understood the need to strategize. Yeap, like it or hate it, politics is a game of strategy. Ask Odinga. Look who he brought into his campaign team, pro bono?! I'm so alarmed. Dude meets Raila, dude decides to campaign for him, pro bono, dude barely knows Raila, And have you seen the resume on dude????! So I ask, pro bono, really? Really? Really? I have so many questions! If you think you sense paranoia here, you're right on the mark. Raila I hope you haven't made any promises to any governments. Because if you have, I say this to you courtesy of Amistad "Gives us free!" But since I also know how perfectly well you know how to change the game on folk, if you have and the plan is to get in and then dump them and all promises you made to them since they can't do anything about it; then Good going. They deserve it for thinking they can just purchase influence all over Africa for pro bono campaign strategies and other cheaper measures. Usituuze, blood and sweat, tafadhali. 1962 and prior is way behind us. Let's leave it there.

Interesting how people lost the nominations. Over the use of the CDF kitty. I was so proud of Kenyans there. Hongera! And of course the losers defected as usual. Does anyone stand on principal in Kenya? Anyway, after watching several Bull's eye clips on YouTube, I will no longer be shocked by Kenyan politics. I had no idea just how much of a joke they were until I saw those clips. Is Kalembe Ndile a serious dude? And what's with all this dancing at political rallies? Anyway, I sure hope someone is working on live Internet TV coverage for December 27th and throughout vote counting. Many of us would appreciate that.

Also interesting how chaos marred every single party nomination. I want to know what die hard ODM supporters who insist ODM is without drama and political manipulation have to say to all the allegations. From what I've read, it seems that they had the highest number of incidences and the most amazing and shocking manipulation accusations. Maoni ODM die hards? BTW, for me this does not mean that Raila is automatically corrupt, but since if this was happening in PNU this would be blamed directly on Kibaki (forget due process), comment on that as well, Tell me what reflection on Raila this ought to be for me and others directly. Why won't I comment? Bias. No way he would get a fair trial from me. Honestly, that's more of an outsider's opinion than is the truth. As I mentioned, I know this is not a direct reflection on Odinga. Plus, I understand the politics and the influence and the fact that they are a vehicle of sorts and some parts have to be in the vehicle before it will move forward. Politics is what it is. And conduits to success have to be factored in.

Quick recovery to all those who ended up in hospital amongst them KJ and others alike. Get well and hit the campaign trails nominated contenders. December 27th will determine the next 5 years for Kenya so tell us how you intend to influence that and please confine yourselves to reality not empty promises.

Kenyans, choose peace. ON December 27th especially. Demand all processes you feel would be fair between now and then. Party officials, educate your supporters and encourage dialogue and peaceful demonstrations over drawing blood. It's so barbaric and it is 2007 after all. Let's stop living up to African stereotype that offers us no accolades.

Reading this, it is pretty apparent that chaos have erupted in various regions of the country. I've noted the utter dismay people seem to have given the comments. Is this because the worst of the confusion has been noted with ODM who had insisted that they were "the change Kenya was looking for" in no uncertain terms? Is this the tone of disappointment? Maybe finally, kenyans will start to address reality, issues and immerse themselves in truth. We are all victims of our circumstances and let's not forget how young as both a nation and especially a democratic one we are. Cut ourselves and our politicians some slack, demand more, become better followers and adjust ourselves to BE the change instead of loud under-informed noisemakers!
Baited breath for the future...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Kibaki has made no significant contribution". Your honest conclusion or is it taking away from your intelligence?

I had enough of these debates and arguments. So I am simply documenting them. My thought process with them and the facts associated with them wherever available. I am just asking for a little justice, some fair assessment of things. You don't have to vote for a man, but give the devil his due. That's all this is about, giving the so called devil his due.

Annual Economic Growth Rate
from UNs regional commission development update in July 2001, "Africa made significant economic progress in the 1990s, with several countries sustaining double-digit growth. " Kenya meanwhile recorded a negative 0.3% growth rate.The same article also adds that "The new leadership will have the opportunity to restore public confidence and promote economic growth." Whether that has happened or not, I'll leave you to judge. To further make my point, "Africa's average gross domestic product (GDP) growth of more than 4 percent in 2001..." Compare that with -0.3.However, be aware that there are things that are simple fact. That while Africa is now at an average growth rate of about 6%, Kenya is right about there, actually slightly above average. So that the economic growth rate is in fact what is Africa's current economic growth rate, does not mean that there has not been any progress here done by Kibaki's government. It would be stupid and inaccurate to conclude that.

Corruption/Anglo Leasing
Let's now address Anglo Leasing. Why do I address this under corruption? It's because it's the only example I am getting from people when they accuse this government of corruption and I ask for specifics. That it has been turned into a Kibaki administration issue is interesting and thought provoking. Here is the story of the origin of the Anglo leasing scandal. This comes from the Mars group, a group whose tactics I have learnt to absolutely disagree with. That a story for another day. My point being that Anglo leasing was done, rushed and finalized before the elections of 2002. It is thus inherited. Meaning the blame cannot be transferred to Kibaki's government. So the people have not been brought to book yet. There has been a lot of finger pointing, true. But no real hard evidence to convict has been provided. The one good shot was Githongo's dossier. But he chose to deliver it to a foreign government, despite the fact that its research was paid for by the Taxpayers shilling. Point is a dossier in the hands of a foreign government is of no use to Kenya and does not enable our courts to convict. And the whole idea of thinking Britain in better than Kenya so run there, Screw that! That's what we're trying to get away from. I haven't met the supernatural Briton or foreign person either. If it can be done right in Britain, it can be done right in Kenya. Running to Britain for cover was stupid, bore him no fruits, stonewalled an investigation and seriously, what did he think they would do? Send Clay to remove the splinters in our eyes, altogether ignoring the logs in theirs as usual? My point is Anglo leasing is not a this generation scandal. The drama perpetrated by Githongo was no help to the issue either. And any promises any other person is making in regards to this issue are not well thought out and are lies. The only way to convict this people is without fair trial and would be dictatorial. To follow the law is to concede that this is a very difficult case to win ina court of law, where the accused can afford good representation. I'll stop here, this topic can cover a small book. Fact is as far as the law goes, they are free until someone can bring in evidence. Face it and move on, let our future be the difference.

Planning and management or lucky break?
What about economic growth generally? I've been advised to "stop worshipping" what Kibaki "has done". The benefits of this came from the Kenyans in the diaspora. Really? So Kenyans went abroad only some 4-5 years back? Or is that when Western Union started sending money to Kenya? I mean how do we come up with this? Are you suggesting there was no foreign currency coming into Kenya before Kibaki's government took over? Is that a logical and educated suggestion? The economy... here are some facts. Collection of funds. KRA. What milestones has that taken? How much better effective is their collection all arranged and organized and funded by the current government? It takes a person who understand that it takes money to get work done, and who knows to tackle the root cause to get this achieved. There are other solutions, such as sucking up to rich foreign governments so that they would give us aid. But that just makes us puppets who are fed just well enough not to die, but not enough to put up a fight should we need to. If nothing else, this is single handedly the most effective most important thing this government ever did. It is the only first right step that existed. And the execution has been nearly perfect. Yes, people have complained and whined intermittently throughout this process, but that is because people resist paying taxes. It doesn't make them right. And this my countrymen is the root cause of progressive development. Then other factors have played in, such as ministries with assigned goals, ministers who know that they will have to earn their dismissal and no longer have to wake up reading papers to check if they were fired last night as was the previous regimes ministerial situation; leaving room for confident planning, implementation, execution and tracking of goals. The CDF kitty, that one tells you what your local representatives are doing for you. And so you can decode who to vote back in. This should be your measure of whether you need local leadership changes or not.

"Kibaki has a stroke. he's totally handicapped." Think about this statement. Play it over in your mind. Analyze it. I'm not sure I should comment on this. I have a healthy respect for the privacy of medical records. But what do we know about strokes that are totally debilitating? Seriously. Kibaki couldn't move his arm well after a road accident. An explanation was offered for it as a badly handled surgery and he had local surgery, which obviously fixed the problem. So logical. And let's face it, no surgery could fix a stroke induced immobility, simply because that would be about the brain triggers. Yet this stroke rumor continues. It reminds me of the republicans as they are sending e-mails now. "Barack is a Muslim", they say. they will lose him his popularity this way. he had to be handled because he had republicans considering a democratic vote. Look into the similarities of these tactics, their unfairness, their pettiness, their absolute absurdity and then decide to know what you believe form that. Kenyans you're smart people. There's a healthy respect for just how smart you all are internationally. Just start acting like it when it comes to situations like these. And on that note, has anyone bothered to note that Kibaki struggles with expression only when speaking in Swahili? Common sense my people. he's not good with Swahili. It is not a stroke! Listen to him when he speaks English and allow yourself constructive though process.

Other stuff
No one is arguing with me about the payment of farmers being a good thing. Yet, most people ignore the overall effects of this. In a nutshell, the development of rural areas begins here. There will now be an increased demand for goods and services from the farmers as they have disposable income and hence supermarkets and eventually malls and all sorts of trading will have to move closer to the demand. It's that simple. the beauty is in its simplicity. And if Kenyans are to be smart, there should be a migration of sorts back to the farms because they are now profitable "centers", more like fields and spaces. Which would lead me to an attitude I notice amongst Kenyans that I have narrowed down to "fickle mindedness". What I mean is simply this, the people who are now currently farming as young people, have almost all studied outside of Kenya for further studies. They are the only ones who can proudly declare themselves farmers as their "what do you do" response; and not care about the crazy looks they get from their peers. Think about it people. It may not be an easy pill to swallow but if we can't discuss the facts, then we can't help each other. But all that another story, for another day.

What about primary school education? That it's now absolutely free. Recall how opposed this was when Kibaki first announced it? It will be difficult to implement, the skeptics said amongst other things. Who said difficult means do not push ahead with it. How about a simple pros and cons assessment. every year delayed in implementing free primary education would have meant scores of students late for primary education entry. And the same skeptics were screaming, free secondary education a few years down the road?

Health care. By no means perfect. But what leaps and bounds I ask? How much better are the local dispensaries doing? Answer these questions to yourself honestly. The Nairobi Stock exchange and the provisions that have been given it to allow growth. I could go on. And by no means am I citing perfect governance. I am however acknowledging leaps and bounds in progress. And truly choosing to understand that it cannot all be done in 5 years. Neither will it all be done in the next 5 regardless of whom the throne will belong to. It's a process and we as Kenyans need to learn how to measure milestones and keep things in perspective.

In a previous post, I gave simple litmus tests for critical thinking. Let me say I cannot overemphasize the importance of critical thought process. No matter what you decide, let it be under these circumstances, a conclusion of fact assessment, within context, with common sense exercised and devoid of emotion. Just pure thought and logical infusion and totally and completely grounded by facts and not speculation. It calls for invested interest and work in fact finding from everyone but if you are to comment and have an opinion on something, don't you owe it to yourself as a smart person to know all there is to know about it?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Inconvenient Truths

I finally watched Al Gore's documentary. What an interesting and captivating piece. I felt totally enlightened. Gore earned that Nobel peace prize two times over! If ever there was an example of turning a bad situation into a good one. Perhaps there was a good reason why Gore lost elections despite winning them after all.I thought I had gone green but after watching that, I wonder how much greener I can get. You can be sure I'll be making a huge effort to get greener. I'm already what I consider almost extreme. take for example, unless in extremely unavoidable circumstances, I don't drink bottled water. Why? because it adds a whole lot of plastic waste to drink water that in its fine print says this: PWS. Meaning, public Water Source. Someone took the same tap water I drink, packaged it and sold it to me for more that it costs to buy gas. Not only does it offend my sensibilities, it harms the environment, so I just say no!

I noted that Gore mentioned Nairobi as becoming mosquito infested. I recall a doctor once telling me that there was hardly any malaria in Nairobi and people should not take malariaquin as it was harmful. Then, these drugs were still available OTC (over the counter). We had a good laugh over how rare a female anopheles mosquito was in Nairobi as he laughed when I told him how my entire family had once collapsed from malaria within 2 hours of each other. He had explained that that was the only way malaria occurred in Nairobi. Because there weren't that many malaria causing mosquitoes, you saw it as a significant wave and it was gone. His explanation had made sense then. I wonder how global warming will affect that balance.

After I watched Al Gore, i wondered what the impact would be on the medical expense budget should malaria become common place in Nairobi. Once upon a while back in this blog, I watched how a remote part of Kenya was struggling with malaria and the inability to afford its treatment. malaria would probably outbreak in the slums. that's where they have pools of stagnant water and other unhygienic practices glaring to the eye. This would cripple the entire medical system should cases of malaria start to increase and keep increasing exponentially.

So it started me wondering what about the future our presidential hopefuls were addressing. How much about the global issues do they become part of and incorporate into their messages? can Africa afford to turn a blind eye on all that is going on? Africa has been both blessed and cursed by being a developing continent in the face of developed nations. The bad about this situation is well known and could fill 4 days Worth of reading. But there is a good to this as well. And that is that we can learn from the mistakes of those that have developed before us. Aldo, we can benefit from their research. As the snow melts from Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. what do we do to retain that tourism? Mark where the snow was for periods of years, just to make it worth visiting? Perhaps? Maybe, channel those visitors elsewhere. the problem with that is that it takes away from local traders who were benefiting from those tourists. Basically, we can all agree that these issues need to be addressed as they happen. this is where I call for effective media outlets. Who think outside of the noise being made and can engage politicians and force them to think outside the normal stagnating noises they make.

Genetically modified food. This issue just puzzles me. Why go there, Africa? There is enough research to show that this is a harmful route to take. It only benefits pharmaceutical companies. So again I ask, why go there? There are other ways to increase productivity and they don't include messing with God's work. If there is nothing else we are learning as the effects of technology start to be felt, is that no matter how much we as human beings think, "we got it", there is a perfect balance from a much more intelligent creator that we know little of but are prone to upset often. Our best bet is to work with things in their natural states. Plus cancers and MS and other weird painful diseases. All linked to modified foods. Not to mention the trend in the oceans. Fish now have both male and female parts and males are simply taking a path towards extinction, thanks to huge amounts of estrogen in our waters. bear in mind, that most engineering of foods has something to do with estrogen. And the issues that will arise include greater numbers of women with gonadic problems, from polyps to fibroids, worse to cancers both ovarian and breast. Why, oh why won't Africa, trailing behind, learn from those ahead of it? I surely hope they do.

I'm waiting to watch Sicko. the reason I haven't watched it yet is because I want to buy it and its not out on DVD yet. From this, I hope leaders in developing worlds will watch to learn what the possible entrapment of modernized medical systems, insurances and pharmaceutical companies tied into it, and device ways to avoid them altogether. I guess I'm a social capitalist, as Raila described himself to be. Off on a tangent, the whole entire NSE reaction to a Raila lead was surprising to me despite the fact that I have been fully aware of investors being very wary of a loss for Kibaki during the oncoming elections.I wasn't aware, however, that they were that nervous about it, enough to get out just because poll numbers indicated a possible loss for Kibaki. That was an interesting observation. And one that led Raila to eat back some unwise words he had uttered while in Atlanta. will the investors, trust Raila ever? I guess only time will tell.

I guess I'm wondering about which one of our presidential hopefuls worries enough about the global future to invest time and research so as to protect Kenya from some of the atrocities the developed world faces today. Why should we have to make the same mistakes? Can we afford to make the same mistakes? And to what extent should this matter in picking out a future leader?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Kenya Elections "07

So elections are down to the 3 contenders as Kalonzo, Kibaki and Odinga, ordered alphabetically to avoid the ever increasing tribalistic debates. First and foremost, this is a huge move towards political growth in Kenya. 3 candidates only? yes, political parties keep being declared and defections are still common but there has been improvement in this field, no doubt.

Still, it's glaring to me how there is no obvious direction or principal governance creed given by any party. ODM keeps chanting about bringing about change. That's all cool. But what kind of change are they talking about? Because, frankly, given what Kibaki's government has achieved, I don't want change from that. I want continued momentum. I want forethought, planning and execution. I want to continue to see progress. Can ODM kindly explain change to me.

PNU is singing about the developments they have made. I agree with this. This campaign makes sense to me. they are listing the achievements of this government. This makes sense. I as a voter can decide if the achievements impress me or not. The pledge to continue with these kinds of developments can either be acceptable or not to me as a voter. hence, I can make a decision.

What is Kalonzo about? Does anyone know? Please enlighten me.

Having said that, let me declare my bias. I am all Kibaki camp. For reasons as mentioned above. Progress. In a much shorter time than I expected. And a hearty thank you to this government for enabling us and giving us the guts to speak our minds and not have to puppet to the "big" nations of the world. For that I ma eternally grateful. let me actually phrase how proud I am of Kibaki's (and team)achievements; if Kibaki were to lose this election, it would be no loss to him, period. There would be a loss but not to Kibaki; and to those whose loss it was, it would be obvious sooner rather than later. You think it takes a long time to regret stuff? Ask the Americans, from that strength in economy to a market that's shattering the world markets as we speak. And they had a long sliding grain, which Kenya doesn't have. Enough said.

I was intrigued as Kenyans, in their usual unison bleeting blah, complained about the cancelled ODM rally due to the fact that it coincided with a rival rally at the same park. Seriously, Kenyans are trying to convince me that they don't see potential for violence were this allowed to happen same day? This they say with a straight face as the same papers are carrying on about election skirmishes in much smaller rallies that weren't rival rallies side by side? Seriously, I keep begging for common sense. I applaud the council and the city police for denying this rally. It was the right move and anyone who isn't interested in attending rallies but has business in town can thank them for a peaceful day to go about their business as well.

What about the media bias? I have never been a fan of the Kenyan media but could we please feign indifference? How does the media day in day out carry such biased reports? There is an opportunity here for someone with capital to start a media station that carries a fair and balanced and I emphasize researched version of news in Kenya.

The end of the road is near. Steadman polls have Raila in the lead now, Kalonzo not so much a contender. I guess the proof will be in the polls. I caution as I have severally in the past several months. Vote with caution. Remember these cliche phrases as you vote and reflect on them pensively and may your conclusions guide you wisely.

1. What have you done for me lately ( you being person seeking your vote, me being your constituency, your country).

2. Be careful what you pray for.

3. Rome was not built in a day ( and neither will Kenya)

4. Empty debes make the most noise

5. Let me see your resume ( can your candidate prove his/her achievements)

6. Don't forget to wonder how often your candidate missed an important vote in parliament and what their overall attendance record looks like. It's 500K of your money a month. Is he/she earning it?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Media demo, 50 Women parliamentary seats

It is proudly noted that the demo by the media was well conducted. Hopefully they've had their 15 minutes and can now steer themselves back to real reporting. I have been trying to get a hold of the entire media bill but due mostly to my own unavailability, don't have it all as yet. I have seen the part that is in contention and I have to say, I have no problem with it. The way I see it it raises the question, if I was adversely mentioned, or so it seemed, in a derogatory column or article, and I felt sure that the person the article referenced was me but my name wasn't mentioned and I took it to court, I should be able to demand that I be told whom the article was referencing. Let's pay attention to this, referenced party, not source of information.So unless there is a different section of this bill that is causing a row, the media is misleading people once again! Nobody has asked them to reveal their sources. Again, since I haven't seen it all and I'm unsure as to what parts are causing contention issues, I'll hold my final emphasis point.

And as Standard noted, proudly to my amazement,Mwala was out trying to provoke some violence. I'm sure they would deny this was his mission, but the questions he was asking were intent to make the recipient irate enough to act irrationally, start a melee, end the demo in riots and then the media could say there demonstration was interrupted by the government who are afraid... or whatever else they would say.

Obviously, I am biased against the media. I always have been. I argue often that the Kenyan media is not grown up enough and is detrimental to the development of the society. They contribute immensely in painting an ugly picture of the government and often publish biased and unresearched material, with people's opinions being represented as fact.The Standard is the worst offender of this kind. The media further abuses its rights by picking on certain individuals and insinuating things that are detrimental to careers and even family lives. They get nothing right. Often times even their entertainment articles such as Pulse are filled with misinformation and errors. There exists, without a doubt, a quality control issue that needs to be addressed.

Those arguing that the politicians are trying to protect themselves, shouldn't they? These are their careers. And if a reporter has nothing to hide, these laws barely start to intimidate them at all. Demanding that they reveal sources would be too much, though there are circumstances when I feel they should be forced to reveal sources such as if any one's life was in danger, collectively as a nation or a single individuals life.

As for the 50 women seats in parliament, I'm glad those weren't voted in. However, I'm very disappointed by the fact that these stupid politicians cannot take a stand on anything. Instead they walk out and disrupt the quorum. Where are their balls? Sit there and vote the thing down! But since that might come to bite them in their behinds, they run away like cowards.Kenyans you can all vote in new people or the same ones back, but if you can't vote in people with principles they can stand on, the same crap will continue from the parliament. Martha Karua may be adamant, but that woman is admirable for taking a stand with an issue and sticking with it. A lot more than we can say for many men in that parliament.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Birth or Growing Pains?

There is a lot of grumbling going on in Kenya. Some warranted some, maybe not. In my opinion, a lot of it is growing pains. Some of it birth pains, with access to new freedoms and ideas causing conflicting opinions. The media bill is one such thing. For me, I insist that the Kenyan media needs laws and regulations, so I'm all for it. Even as they urge Kibaki to veto the bill that was passed in parliament. Over a small addition which they claim compels them to reveal their sources. The people who added it claim that it compels them to clarify an unnamed person if a conflict arises. After reading the particular entry,I believe the media is again making a mountain out of a molehill. The wording was not even confusing. However, because I haven't read the entire bill, I will refrain from saying more. But if that part is the only problem, this is why the media obviously needs policing. They aren't grown up enough yet. That they have an opportunity to express themselves this clearly is a sign of how far they've come. To insist that they are being gagged is being alarmist, a condition the Kenyan media really needs to put emphasis in moving away from.

Other things have happened recently. That Charity Ngilu got arrested received mixed reactions. There was a demand for her arrest prior to this. That she found her arrest humiliating is the effect of fair law. For her to blame Kibaki is rather ludicrous. I keep asking at what point Kenyans take responsibility for their own actions. I pose this question to Ngilu as well. Those days of "I am minister, I can do whatever" are gone. You obey the law or like everyone else, suffer the consequence. This is the kind of environment that is conducive to prosperity. That many Kenyans are up in arms against her arrest doesn't make them right. They need to remember to think about being careful what they ask for. Charity wasn't right. She knows it. She just thought she could get away with it. She didn't. I hope she has had some time to internalize, analyze and grow.

The growth is apparent. Tuju expressed himself clearly over the EU tariffs and regulations. This argument over the purported carbon release within organic food that travels for many miles is in many ways an attack to the thriving organic markets that are taking businesses away from the mega store moguls. In Europe and USA, the issue has been seriously in the limelight especially because the organic stores are not lobbyists and have no friends in high places. Or so the rumor mills have been saying. Back from digressing, that Tuju could and did express himself clearly and with no fear, is surely a sign of the times. When a country can support its budget, at least 93% of it, with no need for aid, then it starts to roar and make itself heard.

What about this money for road repairs? Actually I'm more interested in the "meeting to educate citizens about the plan." That caught my eye. What a good sign. The more people understand, the more involved they can be with the plans. And the better able they are to plan and brainstorm around pending implementations so as to stimulate business growth and development. Good move. And perhaps reflect a growing interest amongst locals as to what is going on around them.

Not all is well. The police seem to continue to have a stronghold on majority of people. This is still more an issue of awareness. Brig Ali, in my view, has done a lot to improve the police force. But everyone else has to chip in. Ignorance is not an excuse ever. I recall I have always thought of Kenyans as cowardly. But if every motorist was to opt to be put in jail, how full would those jails be? And how quickly would that draw attention to the stupidity of cops at station X? I think the solution lies in cameras. Everywhere cops station road blocks, they must be required to have a camera running 24/7. Lacking which, any grievance filed against them will be awarded to the plaintiff, no questions asked. And if everyone makes a habit of questioning the cops, politely, I insist politely because it bears results; whenever stopped by them and quoting the law every sentence, I believe it should make them afraid enough to minimize if not stop their extortion habits.

There will be a lot more of these issues coming up. A lot more erroneous judgement especially preceding elections will be made by Kenyans. My hope is that they are all alert and learning. My greatest hope is that one day, Kenyans will be able to drop fickle mindedness and open their eyes to truth. Absolute inability to recognize improvement just because it comes from a man you choose to hate, with reasons ranging from "he has a stroke" (are you kidding me?!) to "he is an old man" mostly masking tribalistic differences is a loud cry for mental development within our population. We can get there. We just need to understand what path we're on and how to stay on it or move away from it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Shooting our own feet

My previous post expressed clearly what I thought of the proposed send off packages those men and women in parliament had proposed for themselves. Then come these shenanigans. Why, oh why did these people feel they needed to do this? They are so much worse than those who stayed at home and did nothing.

The law is not a suggestion. Especially one that requires that you alert the police force of where a possible huge crowd will gather. The reasons are obvious. Kenyan crowds historically get rowdy, out of control, burn innocent by passers cars and destroy property. Alerting the police will ascertain that they are made aware of a gathering and available if and when needed as a result of it.

Breaking the law to voice one's dissatisfaction is all dumb. It is exactly the case of a tainted witness. Once your credibility is shot, you have no value. Acts of lawlessness like these actually justify the send off these members are about to apportion themselves. If compensation is to be matched with how much crap one has to put up with, then these kinds of behaviour justify their move. I'm aggravated by these people. And every newspaper and column and blog that wants to portray them as innocent victims. You break the law, you deal with the consequences. Ignorance or purported privileged class citizen membership is no excuse. These people deserve to be in jail, arraigned and fined or imprisoned, whatever the penalty is for the crime.

As for Mrs. Ngilu, her family should really consider seeking her psychiatric help. By all means, that is not 'normal' behaviour. And her recent actions have been less than functional. She is singlehandedly justifying all those who claim women cannot make good leaders because they are emotional. I hope brigadier Ali is working on bringing her in with the huge allegation of aiding a fugitive escape. How a person who runs for the post of president is completely unable to respect the law just baffles me.

I thought I was disgusted with those MPs but I am sure much less irritated by them than these so called deliverers. And the media outlets portraying them as martyrs. Please! These are criminals. They are breaking the law, that's all. I wish they hadn't "helped". If you can't do it right, sit your butt at home. And anyone follow the law or suffer the consequence. And anyone interested in good governance of any institution should be backing that claim all the way.

And people scoff when Kibaki calls them wapumbavu. If the shoe fits...

As for those in Mathare, as unfortunate as it is that a 2 year old died, I refuse to be dragged into the foolhardiness of blaming GSU for using tear gas canisters. At what point do we bestow responsibility on the citizens themselves? They expect that KPLC should have let them continue stealing power? They want justice? they should name their landlords to the police so that we know whom to penalize for all the theft that the other power consumers have had to pay for over the years. And they need to know better than to start riots. Rioting crowds must be dispersed! What do they propose the GSU do? Approach each one and over a drink of Fanta urge them to go home? Seriously! Let's all be responsible. It's our own individual duty to assess a situation and understand its path and consequences. And hence, avoid those that end badly. On some level, the government,they police the MPs and all serving civil servants cannot be to blame for all the stupid things we do as a individuals and as groups of people.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It wouldn't be funny, were it a joke

What? What is this I'm reading about send off packages? Let me make it very clear. We are not about to lay MPs and/or cabinet staff off. They have served their time, as they expected to have when they first took these offices. These offices are temporary and have been designed that way. What is the severance for then?

Had these servants of Kenya (wishfully) served with a very low compensation range over their 5 years, I may have entertained this thought. But this is not the case. These people earn obscenely over and above minimum wage. If they are making the decision that people can survive on that minimum wage, why aren't they within the same thinking concluding that they've earned enough and Kenya as a developing country needs to put its money to better use. These greedy nincompoops must be stopped.

I propose: Whenever this bill will be read to be voted on in parliament, could we have a pundit in there please? Any single one of them that votes to allow for this severance must be rejected at any and all polling stations infinitely. Never again, should they serve Kenya. Ili iwe funzo kwao na wengine kama hao. Agreed? Let them earn the right to be servants to the people.

My message to all of them; Tabia mbaya! Stop!

And this dealio with added constituencies. I'm just disgusted by the papers today. Not the journalistic aspect of it all. The content. In meaning, the shenanigans that are going on in that country. These women who must be nominated into parliament...why? How comes thay cannot be elected in? This gender equality is too expensive. Shun it! And seriosuly, after beijing, run a campaign and win it! Why the need for the freebies?

Truthfully speaking, what is this about adding constituencies? If there is research that has been done, and results showing that some constituencies, either due to great need, overpopulation, geographic factors, or size need to be trimmed down, I want to see it. Outside of which, this is an irresponsible proposal. Anything that eats into the budget with such regularity should be thought through and should be proposed with prudence. Anybody that reads this blog knows that I'm all for Kibaki and his many positive outflows. So I want to cautiously wonder if he agreed on this because he knew the decision ultimately lies with the house? And by agreeing with it, he doesn;t have to catch any flak for it. Let me hope so. Because, if it's not the case, I'm going to question how he arrived at this being a necessary burden on the tax payer. For the same reasons, I adamantly say no to the creation of a Prime Minister position, I say no to the addition of constituencies. Simply because it amounts to waste of tax payers money. And if any constituency needs subdividing, let us see the research supporting that.

I'm agape. Totally amazed by how greedy these politicians are. The best get rich quick scheme in Kenya has become to join the parliament? There has to be a way to stop that increase should they vote it in for themselves.Seriously voters, should anyone vote any additional money to themselves, vote your stealing neighbor in, the cat, or a cyclone. Just not the same person back.

Bubudiu tupu!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Dunia wiki hii

It's been the last week before my birthday again. I'm past the age where I celebrate birthdays. So I basically spend my birthday these days looking for signs of ageing. Any one of them. gray hairs, aching bones, arthritis, if you can think it, name it. So I usually attain paranoia in this week. Ageing has been working for me people. I can't complain. Can't even go back to yester years. This current years are so much sweeter. If it keeps up like this, I'm going to be an old happy lady one date far away from today.

I buried a friend this week as well. Not really buried her, attended her funeral service. Her funeral is in Kenya today. She died from cancer at the tender age of 35. She fought all the way to the end and I'm sure that she's in a better place now. God rest her soul in eternal peace.It's sobering. And it gives us all a reason to celebrate our birthdays old or not. Look what the alternative is.

And of course I had to increase to my woes. I put the largest dent possible on my fender and my bumper is damaged too. The estimates are high. But it's not going to be worth it to pass this through insurance, No. I'm going to pay for it out of pocket and then go door to door for my dinner for the next several months. Balaa for real. But after the things I've watched people go through, I don't even have the urge to whine too much. I'll just thank God I didn't hurt myself and live to my decision not to drive when I'm under such huge amounts of stress again. Besides, had I had the accident that I almost had instead, that would have been much worse. And I'd probably have hurt or worse, killed an innocent pedestrian.

I got done writing this paper on trade versus aid and I learnt so much from it. Should I ever get psyche, I'll share a great deal of my findings from this research. Its going to be difficult because most of my electronic sources were from priviledged sites that require authorization to access so I'll have to summarize my findings versus attaching the links, the easy way eliminated as a choice to use. So if you never see that post, that's the reason why. Still I was amazed by IMF who have on order, 29 countries, ordered I repeat, to spend 70%, in other words, 70 cents out of every dollar provided in aid, paying back debt. That is, 'let's give you aid, but the condition is take 70% and put it back in our coiffers and we can still claim to have given you aid'. Disfunctional? =Absolutely! Stupid? To say the least! Annoying? On a good day, yes, otherwise it's infuriating. But there were other success stories from Africa that warmed my heart as well. I could research this topic some more.

And Kenya has been bumped to a developing country. That is good news. I hope that keeps up. It should. I strongly attribute the success of Kenya to the fact that the Nyayo cells, those detention and torture chambers, were opened for public viewing. Because every one who raises their voice high these days does it with assurity that they won't end up there. There a lot more noise these days than there used to be. despite the media acting like they are being gagged, they know they're not. And it's teh ability to make that noise that leads to accountability and hence better management. So kudos to serikali ya Kibaki for shutting those places down and being so obvious about it. That in itself has immensely positively affected the future of Kenya until they elect the next dictator who will reopen them or others like them. Caution Kenyans, make sure the men or women you elect in the future can take criticism and use it to grow. Caution! The altrenative is disastrous. And never kid yourselves. A dictator, once elected, will dictate and succeed unless there's a bloody coup to reverse this order.

What's with Fifa and getting an even lower ranking? Moving down 11 places?

And them Kenyans who made the news for identity theft amongst other things, defrauding the IRS. $13M from the IRS and you expect to get away with it? They should crown them idiots of this century. And thanks for nothing! How's that for earning us a bad rap here?

Weddings abound! That's the beauty of summer. Weddings abound. Lemme go celebrate with folks! And some very heart felt congratulations to some of my friends who really matter for taking this walk to the future!

Last day at the age of ... I'm going to make it count.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Went to bed to and woke up to firecrackers going off everywhere. Forget that they are illegal within the neighborhood. How else would we know it was 4th of July, anyway? Truth be told, I enjoy a decent fireworks display away from an absolute professional setup by some waterway's reflection. But I hate the smell they leave behind so I prefer to see fireworks high up in the air from a distance with no idea where they are really being fired from. You'd think the odd day holiday, smack in the middle of the week would deter celebrations some. Wrong. Class was half empty last evening which was good. I got a star parking spot which happens to me, never! Perhaps this article might dampen their cheer?

United States of Africa, huh? Is that USA 3rd world? I can see the economic benefit to this but I wonder aloud about how integration of completely war torn countries would look like. For example Somalia. Where would we start? Do they even know what their niche as a country is? they've been fighting so long they have destroyed every forward progress they ever made and have had no time invested in the discovery of their own land that it would literally mean startiing from scratch. In itself it's not really a problem. I just wonder if you opened up movement throughout Africa, how many Somalis would be in Somalia 2 weeks later? Of course this is a scenario unlikely to happen. I'm just wondering about the complexities of integrating Africa. again, I repeat, whose economic benefit I can see clearly. And what about languages? Creole up North West, Swahili East Africa, Xhosa, French, and many others. Many of which the nationals don't want to give up. Will there arise a debate on whether french or English should become the transactional language? And how does this affect french speaking Africa, should they lose? I doubt the situation is that serious. But knowing Africa, someone's bound to complicate something somewhere.

The hyundai is becoming the honda, no? I know they hired designers from Toyota and Honda to help market this car but has anyone seen the 07 hyundai line? The sonata is an accord by body and the elantra a civic. With no attempt to disguise the obvious similarity in body type! Amazing. Maybe they hope given their name and all, people might be confused enough by Honda's good reputation to mistakenly shop for a honda. Oh, don't jeer. You underestimate err... ignorance amongst people. And at 10K dollars less...

The iphone. I think apple and AT&T must have been a little concerned when the government declared they weren't looking into moving to iphones because they just spent some cheddar on blackberries. I applaud the decision. Frankly even the blackberries aren't as big a deal as they're made out to be. What was that panic over the possibility of them being turned of as the truth behind their stolen reality came out about a year ago? Talk about effectively creating a market for a good where demand didn't previously exist. Some genius PR and promotion. However, I'm sure Steve Jobs has something up his sleeve somewhere. And let's see the master kaizzan on this one. Out of all the people who took this gadget apart, who's going to make a better product fastest? All eyes on China, I say. And need I point out it will cost $399 less? While doing more?

Its a holiday in the summer. Nyam chom abounds. Lemme decide where to go sink my teeth into some of that later today. Happy 4th y'all. I gather the new Die hard movie is worth every penny. Might catch some of that too.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Are you a critical thinker?

Critical Thinking can be summarized in 3 steps. The first is thinking logically and devoid of emotion (for fairness). The second is horizontal thinking, or so to speak, thinking across all related genres of the issue one is dealing with (bigger picture) and the third is using common sense. The 3rd one is the easiest yet the hardest but to be fair, if you get the first two parts right, the 3rd one usually falls into place.

In everyday life, your experiences will always be better in the hands of a critical thinker. Many have fallen for bogus carrot dangled with no real value added as a reason to follow a perceived leader. Often when it’s too late they will learn they have failed themselves. To get here, they must first learn critical thinking. Strangely and sadly, some people go through life without ever achieving this. Critical thinking is not for the lazy. It means you analyze everything you see and hear, understand it fully, research it when necessary and seek to see what else it affects or what else affected it and then come to a conclusion that fits all truths you have uncovered; with the knowledge that caveats exist within the items you have identified as unclear or unresolved. It means you must be engaged mentally at all times. As such, lazy people don’t like to practice it.

There is a simple litmus test for whether you are giving opinions based on critical thinking or not. The process is to imagine yourself as a member of the opposing team, and with all the knowledge you have about the situation, determine if you would then have arrived at a different conclusion as that person. The best way to analyze this is quietly and alone. People in crowds tend to stick to the utter rubbish they uttered to begin with because they are too proud to concede they were wrong. It’s a human instinct, but one that greatly hinders progress. It holds us back from accepting we have learnt something new and are now making a better informed decision. Resist it whenever you can. The litmus test results are as follows. If you find that you would have changed your stand and proposed actions were you on the other side, you have failed as a critical thinker. Your emotions rule your thinking and that’s always a one sided view, disastrous for development and quite frankly is a weakness. The good news is now you know, and once you’re aware of this, you can always take an extra second to analyze your position and re-evaluate before you speak out loud.

Critical thinking is necessary for all leaders. The problems encountered by workers in the African workforce are as a result of lack of critical thinking. To be fair, they are a result of a general lack of management techniques awareness, but anyone with critical thinking could rise above that at any moment because sound judgment would rule the day. How many of you have been fired or yelled at because your boss was wrong and you tried to correct them calmly? Or perhaps because you expressed that you weren’t being treated fairly? That’s what I’m talking about. Your boss makes an incorrect decision based on their emotions (usually inflated ego) and dismisses perhaps one of their best talents. If your boss’s boss was any smarter, your boss ought to be fired and you rehired!

That lack of leadership prowess extends to the House members, cabinet and the office of the president personnel as well. And this is well known and accepted. What everyone misses is how terribly it lacks within the press and worse the general population. The masses are suffering the worst from a lack of knowledge or a lack of will in exercising critical thinking. The latter perhaps in most of Africa, because I’m aware the curriculum insists on years of literature which promote this type of thinking. Summarized and missing key points, critical thinking is cause and effect. Extended with “and keep your unproven sentiments out of this”, it almost gets it all. There is a huge gap in all of Africa and development. That gap is management and leadership training. At the very least, the basics must be taught. Strategic thinking would be a good start.

Don’t despair. This problem is global. You ought to listen to some arguments you get justifying certain things including invading other countries. Fortunately, your world is a better place when you can think critically for yourself at all times. You know what is true and can identify the errors of the bickerers. Whether you say anything out loud or not, you are above the influence. And that’s all that matters!

Now think about your choices, as a manager at work and/or within the political leaders/views you support. With critical thinking induced, what would you do differently?

Monday, June 18, 2007

You Kenyans have it good

I was browsing for news as always and caught the interesting note about migration to Europe. Nothing could have prepared me for what I watched via the www. It's a short production, a photojournalist recording some still moments as some young man leaves home to attempt to cross to Europe. The link to watch this is here. Watch the entire journey.

Which made me realize Kenyans just have it easy. People fret about going to the embassy to get visas but that's about it. I'm sure the demographics of this country have played a role in how they attempt to get to Europe but hey, life is tough. Sometimes you just need to see something like this to get you all back to grateful.

And if any politician wanted motivation to work at improving their country, (KP directed me to a post about the Zambian copper export tax here); they need to watch this so that they can see why they need to improve situations so that people never have to go through this in search of a better life!

And bankelele mentioned some $500,000 dollar properties. OK, seriosuly, even if its showing off, let's get smart about it. Is there any land in Kenya worth that much yet? Because the properties that cost that amount of money here are justified by the land they're on. They haven't yet designed a house worth that much. But watch the fickle Kenyans, who need to be noticed, buy these properties, no other thought needed. "It implies status I gotta be part of that" (isn't that the Kenyan mantra?) But as the economy improves (assuming after elections this trend continues), people get smarter about money and spending it and the masses get less fickleminded; how do you not lose after having invested in property whose only base was status; actually supposed status? Smart people wouldn't invest in those amounts of anything in Kenya unless it was a business with 99% chances of making very good returns!

Have a smart, grateful day, won't you :)

Friday, June 15, 2007


First the budget. Might I say I was impressed. As I mention whenever I mention economics, I'm a firm believer in Keynesian economics. So a huge deficit means growth will be stirred. And I know it will. I love when the government spends. Rise Kenya, rise!

Of course there are those who think that the budget was politicized. What? more cops? Loans for women? and the youth as well? And what was that? More teachers? at a higher rate? tsk, tsk, could we be more political? Are you kidding me? What exactly should have been the government's points of concentration given that CDFs are creating new schools, free primary school education has meant more pupils in classes, an obvious gender deficit exists in terms of women owning businesses and crime has become a definite issue? Where should the government have injected cash flow into so as not to be political? Is it rocket science? Ala!

And Kalonzo Musyoka knows the government wants to assassinate he and/or his colleague Odinga. He says all this in a public rally, open chest, no bullet proof vest, anyone allowed into this crowd of people, no security checks, no cover nothing. Spoken like a true idiot. If you're that sure someone is after you, shouldn't you kinda protect your coveted behind? Overrating your importance perhaps?

Anyway, I was at a Dillards store and I met a lady who hails from South Africa. Out of nowhere she told me she doesn't drive. I inquired why. She then proceeded to tell me of how she had a traumatic experience once. A friend of hers had an accident while she was in the car. She was 5 months into America and her friend just about a year old. English isn't their first language and they weren't fluent in it then. Anyway, they encountered a racist mf who told them they were terrorists who wanted to kill Americans etc etc. He was demanding that they be deported, forget the fact that they are residents. Anyway, that has stayed with her for 9 years. It's not hard to understand when I recall how strange and unfriendly some people could be here when I was 5 months old. Anyway, I told her to get over it because what she was in was a situation where she had let a white stupid fool hold her back for 9 years. Told her to go to the dmv, pick a driving book and start her studying today. She smiled and said she would. I hope she does. Talk about a harrowing experience! You just never know what you're going to hear.

The other day when I had gone to visit my good friend S in Columbus, I had to sit at a bench while waiting for her to come pick me up. There was an old lady sitting next to me. She said hi. I said hi back. Then she said she'd been waiting for her husband for an hour. By then I depicted she was worried. I asked if she had called. She said no. She didn't have a phone. Then she added that he was never late. I offered her my phone and I asked what number she needed to call. Then I punched the numbers in and passed the phone to her. I waited for her conversation to begin with baited breath. See at her very advanced age, a husband who has never been late, is over an hour late... the outcome of this call might not be so cool. I'm praying silently because I seriously don't want to have to comfort her. Hello, she says. You were supposed to be here an hour ago... Phew!!! Thanks goodness. Yes. Old age has hit home. The dude thought she was coming back Sunday. It was Friday. But he was alive and well. OK. Now I can exhale.

Paris Hilton, in jail, out of jail, in medical ward... One question. What the heck is a Paris Hilton and how does it affect daily life?

The Sopranos? What a cool ending. Intelligent, annoying, dissatisfying... job well done. Bada bing, bada bang! Out with a bang!

In other news, summer school sucks!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Decamping to Obama

I've been chit chattering about how Obama isn't ready and how I think he should be a running mate for Mrs. Clinton until he has had more experience and then he will be ready. I have always stated I think he'd make a good president. I just haven't been sure that he is ready. And very importantly, I have thought that the mess that is Iraq and America in Iraq right now would do nothing to credit him, a black man, whom I believe as a president would have everyone watching for the mistakes he will make, forget all the good he would do.

I registered as a receiver of Barack's campaign info a while back. They've been sending this information to me about a dinner for 5. Donate and get dinner for 5. Today, the e-mail had a link. An invite to the dinner from Barrack himself. Well! Mr. Obama tells us how he will meet with four people plus himself, will fly you at no cost to you and pay for the dinner. Theirs is a grass root kind of campaign and this way, he gets to hear every one's opinion. Donate any amount. Link is here.

After watching this video, I would like to reconsider my position. Granted, my position has been influenced very significantly by this documentary It's not that it's new information but it's very detailed. The whole other side. Where even I am not interested in any democrat, forget my aversion to republicans (shaming God always). I am interested in what Barack is doing. Eliminating the Washington lobbyist. All of them. They do nothing but promote the damn pharmaceutical companies, Oil companies and any other influential organization with no regard to human life. You ought to know how mad I am about GE making its way to Kenya. It's one of the 5 evil companies, in there with Halliburton and others. They never do anyone any good. They just act like they are. Those damn GE people better not mess with Kenya! Which they will I'm sure. Let's watch for the rot they're about to start.

Back from wandering and digressing, I'm now convinced that the only thing that is an obstacle to Barrack is people like me. Those who want to shelter him from America. Obviously, the man knows how to use the Internet to market himself and knows how to get to people through this medium. Who am I to assume he doesn't know other things? That he can't handle the heat that is Iraq and shine through it. Obama has proven time and time again that he votes with his head not his alliance when it comes to the war. He gives the reasons why, almost always very well thought out and why then am I claiming he isn't ready? I think with that short video, Barrack just totally made the campaign of his life to me and many others. It was all I needed. Back off Mrs. Clinton. Running mate for Barrack Obama instead! I've decamped. Obama for President 2008!


I'm still with Kibaki in Kenya. No one has given me any reason to oust a man who obviously can influence prosperity back into Kenya. Go Baks! Kibaki tosha, 2007!

Officially as well.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Happy Madaraka Day

Dear Kenyans,

It is with mixed emotions that I, through this blog, address you all on this very Madaraka day, 2007. Madaraka means freedom and freedom spells joy, possibilities and planning. But freedom comes with that other thing called responsibility. Madaraka is all these things and more, wrapped together with the aim to keep ALL Kenyans happy.

Today we remember Dedan Kimathi and crew, Kenyatta, Waruingi, endless list of knowns and unknowns whose blood we thrive on in Kenya. As the economy boosts to 6.1% growth, we must remember that we owe that possibility to these people. They lived, were tortured and some died so that we had the possibility that is the vision 2030 and more.

So I write with the awareness that the headlines are about Mungiki and a country that cannot agree on how to handle this menace. Let's all get to the responsible part. Where every Kenyan has the right to freedom of movement and business opportunities free from harassment from any and all. And that the court systems and the police crackdowns are butting heads over this issue. This is not amazing nor surprising. The menace that is Mungiki in its fervor right now is a new concept. Gang violence aided by weaponry such as guns is a new concept to Kenya. And as much as Kenyans sing about how Ali should do what, and Michuki shouldn't do what or whatever it is they say, truth be told, no one quite knows what to do. The obvious truth is that something must be done. And whatever must be done is going to require changes to old laws, new gun laws created, new gang laws and new right of questioning and hold times accorded to police for suspected gangs and terror groups. Instead of pointing fingers and issuing blame, let's collectively meet at a conference table, admit to new, ugly beginnings and seek a solution so that all deserving citizens may live and continue to prosper in peace. To be fair to Ali's team, his people, his employees are dying in this effort to end this menace. Imagine them watching these charges, on the implied purporters of this madness, be dropped. They need a lifeline. Something to believe in. New crime, new casualties, new end results all call for new laws.

It is unfortunate that like every garden, every batch of planted seeds has to deal with the menace that are weeds. Kenya as a growing or freshly planted nation is no different. But every weed, has its weed killer. All we need is to sit back, analyze what weeds we really have and then find solutions. The Mungiki, Mt. Elgon clashes and incessant tribalistic bashing by our very own elected officials are just some of the weeds to which we need solutions.

All is not lost. The economy is doing better. People are much more hopeful now than they used to be and I believe that many do see a light at the end of the tunnel now. Education is more affordable than it ever was and investment possibilities have been made a reality to majority of Kenyans via loans and stock markets. While Kenyans struggle with the difficult issues, they must not forget to look and see the things that are going well. Keep a balanced perspective. It's my opinion that less speculation and more interest in facts rather than emotional biases will lead Kenya to find solutions to its issues faster and more effectively.

So as Madaraka day comes and as it goes, let's dwell on hope. And earmark ourselves as individuals to be conduits for the real Madaraka to be passed on to every individual. By being better citizens in productive ways, actions, speech and intentions.

Happy Madaraka day na Mungu aibariki Kenya!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Damn them Mungikis

If I had come to the USA to run away from Kenya and its shenanigans, I would be stewing in a pot of disappointment today.

Sometimes I love the Internet, Internets if you're the W. Today isn't one of those days. Today I wish they'd shut down the cnn site and just leave me alone.

Not that CNN has done anything wrong. They haven't. they just picked a story from our local dailies and have placed it where the entire world can see it. It's fact. So it should be published. Still, I wish it wasn't published today. Usually I condemn our local dailies on reckless reporting that causes negative impact to our society. This is not one of those times. What they reported on, they needed to. It was a job well done. I'm not sure about CNN though. They do tend to jump on miserable stories from Africa. That's unfair. I know. I'm just bummed. Completely.

See this link has caused me nothing but chaos all day. It's a well known fact that I'm Kenyan and a fairly well known fact that I'm Kikuyu. I've been fielding all sorts of questions in regards to my home country and my tribes people all day. This is the hard part. How to do this while establishing damage control. You see, stories like these have me answering questions in regards to safety concerns like I was Brig Ali himself or his assistant. In regards to loving my country, I take this issue seriously. I sit there and explain as best as I can that it isn't an unsafe place as such. It's like New York. And that this is a gang and these actions are happening in the rural areas not the main cbd or tourist attraction areas. I say to these people that this is a huge issue, new to Kenyans and they are trying to deal with it. And then I used the T word. I said these are what you call local terrorists. tick... tock... tick... tock... could the silence be any more louder?

Well, the Mungiki are terrorists. By all definitions of the word. They are more terrorists than are the ghosts being chased in Iraq right now. Those people have a reason to be fighting back. The Mungiki are not fighting the cops back as such, they are making a point. That they are to be feared and allowed to perpetrate sheer madness unquestioned. They are not to be sought out to answer for their barbaric acts. They are to be left to run the country down and everyone should love it or accept it. Now if that isn't terrorism, what is?

Well, I will carry on with this day. Every new face will be a chance to explain the acts of these damn fools again. Why am I suffering for their stupid, cold blooded acts? "Ohhh so it's like black on black violence," I was asked today when I said its not a tribal war. They are Kikuyu killing Kikuyu. I said kinda. What else to say? Who had thought of that? But I said they'd kill anyone who opposed them. Stick with the terrorist theory.

I know the villagers know the people in this gang. They are their own best bets. If they are to be freed of this menace, they will need to toboa yote. Give names and pictures where available. And Brig. Ali; a shoot to Kill order executed to the max on these rogues. Hawa ni bubudiu tupu!

People are leaving me with a somewhat sad, concerned and thank goodness I'm not from the 3rd world feeling! Somehow, this is my fault. I challenged all these people to shun ignorance and read about Africa and ask intelligent questions. I turned them into the monsters that they are. Sigh! When will this day end?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Idle chit chat

First and foremost, let me begin by lamenting. I missed Barrack Obama despite having paid my dues to go and see him. Thanks sinus infection! Despite the fact that I wasn't impressed by who was allowed to ask questions. It didn't include me despite the fact that I didn't intend to ask any questions. I simply meant to attend for the experience. If it doesn't make sense to you, worry not. I don't quite grasp it either.

Growing up is proving to be rather tedious when it comes to making choices. Career moves, marriage or not; translating to dating types and even geographical location change decisions. I'm beginning to think that people get married so that they can burden others with decision making. It sure sounds like a good reason to get married right about now.

On a charitable note, have you ever thought about feeding the hungry? Whenever I say this, people assume I'm talking about huge charitable deeds. No. What I refer to is just keeping an open eye for a person who seems hungry and is struggling to find the cheapest thing to eat. It happens a lot around where people congregate to eat. once in a while, offer to buy one such person a meal. It's tricky here as people often get offended if they can afford their meals. But trust your gut instinct. I've been doing this for years and I'm yet to falsely identify a person in need.

On to some trivia. Did you know the Bronco O.J. Was driving around in on that fateful day was a Hertz rental? Yeah, he came from poster child to DNR (Do Not Rent)on the Hertz rentors list.

Could the Kenyan election politics get any more boring (boringier really was tempting to use here).

Midwest airlines is offering some redeemable miles for completing a sudoku puzzle. It was rather fun to note they had one after I had made sure to board the plane with a sudoku book at hand. I guess the fever has caught on everywhere. It's the favorite past time here at geeks square (IT professionals floor) at work. And this airline never ceases to amaze me. Great service! They delayed us for an almost 2 hours due to some problem with the airplane. As we deplaned, they were calling our names to give us $75 in discounts for our next purchases. Now, this was my first Midwest airlines delay and I can see how they don't make a habit of delaying people. It just seems airlines seemto thrive as smaller businesses.

Finals week. I guess I better pull myself back to being useful.

My condolences go out to all the family and friends of the KQ victims. And a speedy recovery is wished upon Kenya Airways as an organization and its employees as they recover from this tragedy.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

In response to the announcement of free tuition for Secondary Education...

I say Kudos. Again and Again. Good move. A lot of people just saw an increase to their spending power. And therefore the economy gets a boost with these move as well. That's simple economics.

Now many will want to interject here and tell me how that's only about 20% of the entire cost and that boarding costs are the highest and blah and blah... Did anyone ever give you a 20% raise in your annual income? Did it make a difference to you? Or would it if anyone gave you a 20% raise to your income right now?

That is the weakest of that argument since many will say that the tuition fee amount does not constitute 20% of their earnings. I'm willing to bet it probably does for most because your kids usually school where you can afford, including demographic decisions since secondary schools are usually allotted that way, save for national schools.

The real issue is, is there a need for boarding schools? Is there a need to assess the allocation of schools to students so that they are closer to home and have the option to go to school and return home and thus, the parents rent or mortgage payments can cover parts of fees; because students that don't board won't need to pay for boarding. Why are Kenyans so hell bent on boarding schools anayway? Where, after experience, we all know we went into and spent the next several weeks counting days until we could go home? These are the moments when growing teens most need a stable environment, one where only parents can provide. The reality is a safe haven, where no matter what happened at school, 8 hours later, they can return to and have time to regroup can only be provided at home. With the exception of a few homes where home is a wretched place to be. And those can be identified and boarding subsidized by the government for these students. But those who want to board at a cost to them should definitely still have that option.

So again, great that the tuition was scrapped. Very happy. Now let's explore other ways to reduce these other costs. The way I see it, the simplest way is to scrap boarding schools or make them as optional a choice as it's possible to be! At the very least, it's food for thought, aye?

Friday, April 27, 2007


So I walked into my apartment and the first thing that caught my eye was a note from the apartment office. So, I opened the note, a little concerned, this was the emergency notice posts and wondered what might be in it. Well, the message was simple and not alarming. The contracted company that was going to re tile my bathroom floor came with the wrong sized tiles so the job has been rescheduled for Monday followed by an apology for the inconvenience. Not a big deal. I can handle that. Anyway, I decided to check into the bathroom to see what they had done if anything at all. Lo and behold!

The toilet bowl was uprooted and was now resting peacefully, boldly, annoyingly and disgustingly in the bathtub! Why? I don't know because looking at the floor, nothing had been done at all. Nada! OK. breathe, I tell myself. Breathe I keep saying. Fortunately, I breathe and I feel that hot anger simmering down. It's after 5:00 pm and I have to call the emergency number.

The lady who answered was very nice. Very Nice. She said she will send the maintenance guy right over. I waited for 20 minutes or so and a knock on my door. Seeing that this person had access to the security door, I knew it had to be maintenance. I open the door with every intention of being nice and trying to get answers as to why this was. Alas! it wasn't to be that way. Dude was livid. he starts "Next time ma am, give them a contact number that works!" Is he F*****g sh*****g me? I'm like excuse me? I'm like call that number! And he calls whatever number he has which of course is a wrong number and I can't help but lecture him about his customer service.

"How dare you approach a person who walked home into this kind of situation with that tone of voice", I demand to know.

And then after a giving him a tongue lashing until I recognized the look on his face having changed to one of sheer regret, I tell him to go away and come back after 20 minutes when I've calmed down. he apologizes and says he'll be longer he needs to fix A/C for someone. I'm like cool. And he is gone.

Then I sat and tried to get over it and when that didn't work very well, I pulled my laptop, on a Friday evening, and decided to vent it all out here. Talk about ruining a Friday evening! I'm all vented. Thanks for being an understanding audience.

This and That

As I get older, I'm perfecting the art of holding grudges. Take for example this stupid site. Some 3 days ago, I started to write a long well thought out post. And I wrote most of it. Then I must have done something unintentionally, because teh next thing I knew, I had a new BLANK, page asking me to create a new post. And I tried for less than 90 seconds to retrieve my other could've been post, to no avail. then I got pissed and shut down blogger and moved on to other things. And I'm back on blogger and I'm still bitter about that loss. It was a good post. With all my thoughts streamlined and making a lot of necessary noise. But I lost it. And I'm just not there today. Can't recreate it, not today anyway.

Moving on. I eat only organic food these days. Not strictly, because if I msut go out to a dinner whether business or not, I kinda fold and eat what's presented to me despite worrying incessently as I eat. Whenever I mention this, people ask if I'm trying to lose weight. I'm not sure why people put the two things together. The simple answer is no, I am not. First and foremost, I am not overweight at all and I am in fact very comfortable with my weight. So why eat organic food given the fact that it costs about double the price of eating regular food?

Well, my reasons are health. Very simply put, I'm done eating anything with hormones in it and I also avoid all pesticide treated foods. The truth be told, I marched into organic food cursing at whomever invented artificial estrogen and decided to fatten all animals with it for commercial food sale. Without going into detail, I was a victim of illnesses, female conditions, all estrogen induced. And I hit lows that no one should have to. And then I discovered it was all estrogen induced and I almost beat the hell out of everyone who already knew this and wasn't telling me about it. But then I figured the doctors were peddlers and they had peddled birth control pills as solutions; that didn't actually work mind you, for the last time. So I went to the organic food store, bought plenty of carrots, bought a great juicing machine and juiced the estrogen out of my body. That and spinach and apples and celery and the wonder food broccoli (sidenote: tell anyone you know with any of these issues that brocolli seems to absorb estrogen out of bodies, actually cures estrogen induced breast cancer). And ate no more estrogen induced foods. And then I saw results. Huge results. I am very well now. No thanks to no doctors and after avoiding a second surgery after it was already scheduled. That's why organic food folks. That's why. Not weight loss.

It's the weekend and I am going to write my final papers. Then create a power point for the presentationn that goes with the paper. It's not as bad as it sounds though. Actually this is all due in 2 weeks timne but because I will be out of twon next weekend and don't want this paper hanging over my head, it will be done this weekend... I hope, if I can kill my persistent procrastination bug. Wish me luck! And have a beautiful weekend.