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Archive for March 22nd, 2011

Official: Kenyan corruption could bring revolution

Posted by Administrator on March 22, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya –  An agitated police officer ordered a minibus to stop and its passengers to disembark, saying the vehicle was not roadworthy. The officer got into the bus, then jumped out moments later, merrily swinging his baton.

The passengers re-boarded the rickety minibus, and the driver offered an explanation.

“He wanted lunch money,” the driver explained in a scene witnessed by an Associated Press reporter in Kenya’s capital last week.

Similar scenes play out every day in East Africa’s largest economy, where corruption has become a way of life.

Patrick Lumumba, the head of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, told the AP that corruption in Kenya — if left unchecked — could lead to the types of anti-government revolutions seen across North Africa and the Middle East.

“The lesson learned is that if we allow corruption to grow into a monster then insecurity will come in and unemployment will come in and the young population who are young and restless and who cannot find employment will vent their anger in a manner that would threaten the rule of law and democracy and would lead to chaos,” Lumumba said.

Lumumba said that corruption kills, and he called graft “worse than AIDS.”

Millions of dollars in taxes meant for roads, health care, free primary school education and clean water projects are stolen from public coffers every year. The theft of drugs meant to fight diseases or money meant to build safer roads leads directly to deaths, Lumumba said. Police officers allow ill-maintained vehicles to continue driving for a small fee.

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe did not answer calls for comment concerning allegations of corruption among the police.

Transparency International, in its 2010 corruption perception index, ranked Kenya close to the bottom — 154 out of 178. Kenya was listed as more corrupt than Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt — all of which have seen recent anti-government protests, fueled in part, but not entirely, by anger over corruption and government ineffectiveness.

Social inequality caused by corruption in part led to Kenya’s 2007 to 2008 postelection violence that left over 1,000 people dead, according to a government report on the events. Frustrated, unemployed youth were behind most of the violence, joining tribal militias and gangs at the behest of politicians fighting for power, the October 2008 report said.

No firm figures exist on Kenya’s unemployment rate, but it is estimated to be more than 40 percent.

Lumumba said corruption is the reason Kenya has stagnated. He said owners of minibuses — the most common means of public transportation here — say they pay up to $21 million in bribes to traffic policemen and judicial officers in order to keep their poorly maintained vehicles on the road. Deadly minibus accidents are common.

George Nyongesa, an official with the National Youth Forum — a youth empowerment group — said a pledge by Kenya’s coalition government to tackle corruption and reduce unemployment has failed.

“The same triggers that led to the political revolutions in the Arab world, those same triggers are here. They just need an instigation, and the way I see it is that the wind of change is blowing from the Arab world southwards. I think that wind is gaining momentum,” Nyongesa said.

On Tuesday, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki told parliament that the government will create laws as required by the country’s new constitution to ensure that younger Kenyans have access to employment, education and training.

“I have decided that this matter must be addressed urgently,” Kibaki said.

Kibaki won the presidency in 2002 by promising to root out the corruption that had become endemic under the 24-year rule of his predecessor, President Daniel arap Moi. In the early days of Kibaki’s tenure, Kenyans made citizens arrests of traffic police officers demanding bribes from minibuses, signaling their hopes for change.

However, two years later, a major scandal tainted Kibaki’s reformist credentials when it emerged that key members of his Cabinet were implicated in a scam where Kenya paid millions of dollars in security contracts to fictitious companies.

Violence erupted in late 2007 after Kibaki was declared the winner of an election that international observers and Raila Odinga, his main challenger in the presidential race, said was flawed. An agreement to bring peace, mediated by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, formed a coalition government in which Odinga became prime minister.

Lumumba said that since taking up his post in August, he has instituted changes that have resulted in the prosecution of a serving Cabinet minister for the illegal importation of used cars and the prosecution of Nairobi’s mayor.

Still, critics say that prosecutions mean nothing if they do not result in convictions. Lumumba says one challenge he faces is that his organization lacks prosecutorial power and must hand over cases to the Attorney General.

Lumumba, a respected lawyer by profession, said he has received deaths threats.

He said the government needs to start making serious long-term investments by opening industries to create jobs. He said a presidential initiative — Jobs for Youths — in which young men are given temporary jobs such as garbage collectors is a stopgap measure that will not have a meaningful impact.

Ultimately, Lumumba said, the fight against corruption will be won when Kenyans change their value system.

“We have no national ethos. We celebrate thieves and give them elective positions,” he said.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/22/official-kenyan-corruption-bring-revolution/#


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Jay Cutler quietly goes about charitable work in Kenya

Posted by Administrator on March 22, 2011

NEW ORLEANS — Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has opted to fly under the NFL radar in the days, weeks and months since he left the NFC title game with a knee injury.

But now Cutler’s not even on the continent.Cutler accompanied his girlfriend, Kristin ­Cavallari, on a trip to Kenya with the non-profit One Kid One World, which focuses on rebuilding schools and ­providing supplies to ­students and teachers in Kenya and El Salvador.

On March 8, ­Cavallari posted on her Twitter ­account that she would be making the trip to Kenya with the non-profit organization and wouldn’t be ­“tweeting” for two weeks.

Meanwhile, there was no mention of Cutler’s whereabouts on his website.

This, of course, should come as no surprise.

Cutler hasn’t spoken to the media since Jan. 23, when the Bears lost 21-14 to the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.

He endured an unprecedented multimedia attack as players, fans and analysts questioned his toughness because he didn’t finish the game.

Even after it was reported that he suffered a Grade II tear of the medial collateral ligament, Cutler’s critics didn’t back down.

Yet the quarterback didn’t step up to address the clamor.And just as he did in December, when he quietly visited sick children at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital with Cavallari, Cutler again passed an opportunity to publicize his charitable endeavors.

“That’s the side of Jay a lot of people don’t know,” Bears president Ted Phillips said Sunday. “He does have a caring side to him.”But his image, apparently, isn’t among his points of emphasis.And therein lies one of the reasons Cutler is unique.

Other big-name NFL players, particularly quarterbacks, are diligent about their public perception. Whether of his choosing or not, Cutler doesn’t pitch products.

And certainly of his choosing, Cutler also agrees to interviews very close to the NFL mandate.Two years ago, when the Denver Broncos hired Josh McDaniels, Cutler’s relationship quickly soured amid reports that the new coach was ­interested in acquiring one of his former New ­England Patriots players, Matt ­Cassel. Cutler told the Sun-Times last September that he confronted McDaniels about the rumors.

“He acted like he had no idea what I was talking about,” Cutler said. “Then it took him two or three days to finally admit that he tried to trade me.”Then, during a meeting, McDaniels told Cutler that any player could be traded at any time.“By that point, I was like, ‘You know what? Just trade me now,’ ” Cutler recalled.

So it should come as no surprise that the Bears are showing Cutler love, even if he has been out of pocket. Phillips admitted members of the organization “really haven’t talked to him.”“Maybe some of the coaches did,” Phillips said. “Now, with the work stoppage, we can’t talk to him. But when the time comes, we’ll sit down with him and see how things are going.

Asked if the Bears would consider trading Cutler, Phillips said, “I mean, no one is untradeable. But we couldn’t be happier with Jay as our QB. He’s our guy. Our organization has never wavered in saying, ‘Jay’s our quarterback, and we’re excited to have him.’ ”If the Bears plan to keep him, then Phillips is taking the right tack.


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Posted by Administrator on March 22, 2011

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Kenyan limbo dancer breaks world record

Posted by Administrator on March 22, 2011

March 21, 2011 – Sarakasi Trust limbo dancer Kate Kibugi is the new 2011 Guinness world record holder in Limbo dancing. The 24 year old is one of the senior Sarakasi dancers who left for Italy last Sunday to try the most difficult thing as it may seem to many of us.

The big achievement was recorded live on the Italian TV show – Guinness World Record last Thursday March 17. Kate attempted to pass under a bar that was balanced at a height of 20 cm!

Kate managed to beat the World record (in the freezing cold weather conditions) which was held by Shemika Charles from Trinidad/USA who broke the record in September 2010 by passing a bar at the height of 21, 59 cm. 

She returned from Italy yesterday Sunday 20, March.

Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/lifestyle/entertainment_news/5801-Kate-Kibugi-breaks-Guinness-world-record.html

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Good Samaritan Who Ended Up Paying for His Compassion

Posted by Administrator on March 22, 2011


Family remains hopeful and optimistic despite a litany of woes that have befallen them over the last 22 years

SIMEON Ratemo Kerandi, 61, has been bedridden for the last 22 years. On October 2, 1988 at 4pm, Kerandi saw two men fighting and like the Good Samaritan, he went to separate them outside his shop at Nyabiuto Shopping Centre in Kiogoro, Kisii district.

It is this incident that was supposed to lead to the ending of a fight that changed his life forever, confining him into his bed, from where he eats, and even answers his calls of nature.

The rescue mission ended tragically when one of the men pushed him and forced him to land awkwardly on a sharp incline. To make things worse, the man then fell on our hero.

Kerandi was taken to Kisii District Hospital, now Kisii Level Five Hospital, and later to the New Nyanza Hospital in Kisumu for treatment but it was all too late to save him. He has never walked since then. He suffered a lasting injury to his spinal cord and despite several visits to hospitals, Kerandi has never recovered.

As if he was not in enough trouble, Kerandi later suffered a stroke that paralysed the left side of his body.”When I was in Kisumu, I received no treatment other than physiotherapy, so I requested to be transferred to Kisii. I lost hope and came home. At least from here I could visit the hospital for checkups,” he said resignedly.

Next to his bed where he has spent 22 years was a small transistor radio tuned to Egesa FM, a local vernacular radio station. “This radio has been my friend for all the years that I have been confined to bed. It informs me what happens in the outside world,” he said when a group of journalists visited his home in Boronyi village.

Kerandi cannot move and can take up to three months without basking in the sun. He lives sheathed in blankets, optimistic that one day a miracle will happen and he will be healed.”I’m praying that one day I will be able to walk and fend for my family. The years I have been in bed have been torturous and mentally draining for me, but I have not lost hope,” he added.

Though his face appears relaxed and affords an occasional smile, the bright eyes give an impression of a man who has been in trouble for the better part of his life.His wife Pauline Kwamboka has stood by him, true to their marriage vows that only death would do them part.

Whenever Kerandi wants to bask in the sun, a privilege that he rarely enjoys, his nephews must be called in to help move him out and they must hang around to return him into the house.

It is Kwamboka who runs errands, including menial jobs at villagers’ homes to bring home the bread for her ailing man.

She has to ensure that she attends to his needs, including ensuring he is cleaned and cleaning the mess in the bed after he answers his calls of nature.

She says a time comes when even the blankets get too old to shelter him from the cold but she has to struggle even harder to make him comfortable.

The couple were married in 1971 and Kwamboka insists she has no option apart from standing by her husband until help comes their way.

To add more pain to the couple’s life, their two sons were gunned down by the police a few years ago as suspected criminals. Kerandi said his sons, Robert Ondimu and Dennis Machuki, were killed separately by the police.

When he was injured, Ondimu and Machuki were 16 and eight years old respectively. He says his sons would not have turned to crime had he not fallen ill and been unable to guide them as they grew up. “They were suspected to be criminals but if I had been OK, I don’t think they would have died that way. It is painful to lose two sons in such circumstances,” he added.

Source: www.nairobistar.com

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Plastic surgery: Looking for a new you

Posted by Administrator on March 22, 2011

Plastic surgery is more and more common in Nairobi as middle-class Kenyans seek the feel-good factor of a little nip and tuck Humans have been altering their appearance for generations. We Africans are famous for doing extreme things to our bodies, such as branding, neck elongation and the wearing of brass plates in the lower lip.

Cosmetic surgery is the modern frontier of an age-old practice, and Nairobi is queuing up for a nip and a tuck. 
Plastic surgery is one of the fastest-growing areas of medicine in Kenya. In the past, wealthy Kenyans took trips abroad to get procedures done, but a few experienced Kenyan surgeons have travelled to the US and UK for training.

Rumour has it they set out with the noble intention to treat cleft lips and perform skin grafts on burn victims and skin cancer patients, but they landed on a lucrative landmine.

Stanley Khainga, secretary general of the Kenya Society of Plastic, ­Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (KSPRAS), dismisses the rumour but says there is clearly money to be made in plastic surgery.

Demand is on the rise, he says, as Kenyans become more exposed to what is available, incomes increase and there is a move towards greater individualism. 
“Our mentality is shifting and we are more willing to pay ourselves first. So patients will come in and spend money on a procedure that will make them happy instead of sending all their earnings to relatives upcountry.

My patients are not the wealthiest Kenyans, just people who want to look better and feel better.” His practice, like that of other plastic surgeons in Nairobi, combines cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Later this year he and some colleagues will launch a burn clinic where burn victims can receive pro bono treatments.

Don Othoro is a Kenyan doctor based in London who runs Valentis Beauty, a company running five plastic surgery clinics in Nairobi. Outpatients rush to an upmarket spa for Othoro’s Botox injections, chemical peels and microderm fillers. 

He believes that there is a huge distinction between attractiveness and beauty: attractiveness is measured by those around you, whereas beauty is determined by how you feel about yourself. “We all want to feel beautiful and these procedures are not about chasing age.

A 60-year-old patient came in for cheek fillers and I told her that we will make her a fantastic looking 60-year-old, not a 45-year-old. I do not ‘fix’ age, there is nothing to fix.” 
Asked why Kenyans are now more open to these procedures, Othoro says that they are no different from his British patients. “As we get older, we become invisible and this has a huge impact on our identity and self-worth.

Patients come in with a desire to rectify what they think is unattractive and a deep desire to feel great about what they see in the mirror.”

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