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Archive for December 1st, 2011

A Policy On Police Murders Needed

Posted by Administrator on December 1, 2011

Last week two people were shot by policemen in Kawangware. Two police officers came across an elderly man and a youngster at 3am, and suspecting them to be criminals, shot them dead.

The initial reports from the police indicated that the two victims were criminals and a vernacular radio presenter even informed the public that the two were carrying machetes, and had left the officers with no choice but to shoot and kill them. This incident was well on the way to being another statistic of criminals killed by police until Kawangware residents took to the streets stating very firmly that these killings were unlawful, and that the two Kenyans were innocent.

The media then went into the details of the story and we learnt that the older man was 46-year old Ebrahim Ombasa Ondego, and the youngster was his 14 year old son Joseph Nyaberi Ombasa. We learnt that Ebrahim was on the way to the market to set up shop for his wife, and that he did this every morning as a means of booking space for her as she organized the household.

The wife would then come to the market at 9am and release him to go to Industrial area to look for casual work. At the end of the day Ebrahim would be back to take over from her again, releasing her to go and prepare supper for the family. He would then close down their small business and go home late at night. Joseph Nyaberi had just completed his KCPE a week or so ago.

Clearly this two were not criminals and the police apologized, both for the shooting, and for providing the public with false information. The officers involved were also charged.

I had a chance to meet Ebrahims’ 36-year old wife Joyce Ombasa and the other two children: 21-year old Violet, and 17-year old Isaac. Listening to their story and watching the helplessness on their faces made me want to weep. The fact is that despite the well-meaning police apologies Ebrahim and his son were dead leaving an already very poor family to struggle and raise money to bury them. The ironies of life are such that the family is even liable for government charges for the two’s mortuary fees!

Whats even sadder is that Ebrahim and Joseph are but two of a long list of innocent Kenyans killed by what can at best be called overzealous police officers. Others include Hon Muiruri’s son, initially booked as a suspected mungiki shooting before it became clear that he was another victim of a police officer gone bad. Add every other Kenyan you know has been shot by police ‘by mistake’ and you will realize we have a problem.

The UN Special Rapporteurs for Extra-Judicial killings Prof Phillip Alston officially stated that the Kenya police force seems to operate a shoot-to-kill system, including having killer squads that are let loose on perceived and/or imagined criminals. The government’s very own Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has produced several reports on this issue, the most famous being the ‘Cry of Blood’ that indicated over 500 killings and/or forced disappearances of young Kenyans from Central & Nairobi provinces.

The fact that we have a new constitution has done nothing to change this. The Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) has documented over 200 such incidences since promulgation last year.

Other organizations like Release Political Prisoners, etc, have their own reports. The common denominator in all these reports is that fingers are pointed at the police as being behind the killings.

I am convinced that 99% of our police officers are hardworking and brave officers who work in extremely difficult circumstances, to keep what is usually an ungrateful citizenry safe. They are ill-equipped, and face life-threatening situations literally every day they walk out of what are also unmaintained government houses. They are also treated as second class citizens by civil society and the general public.

However what disturbs me is how we have allowed this to excuse the 1% bad apples who will shoot rather than arrest anyone they suspect of being a criminal, whatever the circumstances. A song has even been done of the existence of ‘bonoko’: firearms laid besides victims to justify the shooting as legitimate. Then there is the administrative reluctance to accept that that we have too many illegitimate shootings going on. The police bosses will only respond if there is a public outcry.

We are in the era of ‘Siasa Mpya’ so my challenge goes to our 290 elected political representatives. Is there an official policy to consider innocent Kenyans killed in pursuit of dangerous criminals as collateral damage?



Posted in Analysis and Opinion | Comments Off on A Policy On Police Murders Needed

Video: A PNU supporter hacked to death

Posted by Administrator on December 1, 2011

Posted in Kenya | Comments Off on Video: A PNU supporter hacked to death

Syokimau: Had I not smelled a rat, I would also have fallen victim

Posted by Administrator on December 1, 2011

One of the houses that were demolished at Syokimau near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Lands commissioner has now admitted to knowing all along that the Syokimau titles were fake, even after millions went down the drain. File

One of the houses that were demolished at Syokimau near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Lands commissioner has now admitted to knowing all along that the Syokimau titles were fake, even after millions went down the drain. File

The insurance industry has to have some of the most imaginative clients in the service industry when it comes to making insurance claims. Using excerpts from claim forms, here are the top five most creative causes of accidents.

Number 5: “The accident happened because I had one eye on the lorry in front, one eye on the pedestrian and the other on the car behind.” Number 4: “I started to slow down but the traffic was more stationary than I thought.” Number 3: “I didn’t think the speed limit applied after midnight” Number 2: “I knew the dog was possessive about the car but I would not have asked her to drive it if I had thought there was any risk.” And the number one most creative reason for an accident:  “Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.”

I’ve been watching the gut-wrenching saga going on with the Syokimau demolitions and have concluded that the flip flops being undertaken by all the concerned government agencies are as good as insurance claimants: “The land which was ours, was taken away by those guys who then sold it to those other guys and then we woke up and it was a dream.”

I am confident of one thing: we will never find out what truly happened, our moral outrage will fizzle with time and be reignited by yet another – yawn – scandal of volcanic soil proportions and only the homeless Syokimau families will remain with the painful scars.

I bought land in Syokimau. Oh yes, I am a victim of the must-buy-land-now-in-a-good-deal frenzy. It was in the dimming light of the year 2002. A close relative told me about how Uungani Settlement Scheme Self Help Group(USSSHG) had a huge parcel of land in Syokimau and only members would get land allocations. I went, I saw and I conquered. I paid Sh 2,000 for shares and another non-refundable fee of Sh 1,500 as membership. Four months later in April 2003, I then paid a deposit of Sh 13,000 into a bank account for my half-acre plot number 851.

Who wouldn’t pay for a half-acre being sold for Sh 35,000. This was followed by total silence. 2003 rolled by and we were told to wait. 2004 rolled by and we were told to wait. 2005 rolled by and we were told to – you guessed it – wait. In October 2006, I received a letter signed by the Chairman and the Secretary of USSSHG giving a written account of the project status update. The letter played back the discussions and revelations that had taken place at a General Meeting of the group in July 2006.

It turned out that there had been a case pending in the High Court between USSSHG and the Kenya Airports Authority that had been filed by the latter in the year 2003. [What?!] The letter stated in part “ The lawyer for our group….informed members that the case has collapsed and encouraged us to proceed on with our development projects and to pursue the title deed for the whole parcel of land, which in any case is in Mavoko Municipality and not part of the JKIA, which is in Nairobi Province.” [Pardon?!]

So my brain spark plugs began firing. This deal of a half acre for Sh 35,000 is on disputed land? Which land has been claimed by a government agency? Hit the brakes. I kept on reading. “Members were encouraged to move to their plots, start fencing, plant trees, present their building plans to our offices for approval by the Planning and Development Committee who will also arrange for approvals by Mavoko Municipality.”

Put engine on idle. I kept on reading. “Members who have not cleared their outstanding balances were encouraged to pay these balances immediately. A penalty for delay has been imposed on unpaid dues by doubling the amount outstanding on each plot.” Since my outstanding balance was Sh 22,000 I now owed the princely amount of Sh 44,000  because of waiting for communication about what the next steps were for THREE years!

Furthermore, members were being asked to pay an extra Sh15,000 for re-survey of the land, replacement of destroyed beacons and payment of rates. Engage reverse gear! The whole deal was starting to smell worse than a skunk I once ran over one late night on the lonely stretch between Syracuse and Ithaca in upstate New York. I bailed out.

But others chose to forge ahead with the project and the result was the growth of a housing development using hard earned savings and borrowings. On the one hand, buyers of the Syokimau plots cannot plead ignorance. The Kenya Airports Authority had laid claim to that land from as far back as 2003. But on the other hand, the Mavoko Municipal Council cannot claim innocence either as they were fully aware that there was a claim on the land by none other than a government agency, court outcomes notwithstanding. Mavoko should not have provided the planning and building approvals with such relish and glee.

What Mavoko Municipal Council has now done is to destroy any modicum of respect, reputation or integrity that was ever accorded to it. Forget what USSSGH did or did not do, or whether it was ill advised by its lawyer. The local authority had the fiduciary responsibility to provide planning approvals on land over which it had legitimate authority as the approvals only served to validate what is now being revealed as fake titles.

What this essentially does is to put doubt in anyone’s mind about the veracity of any title issued within the Mavoko Municipality. In my view, the overheated property prices in this area should essentially get a much needed dousing of cold water as they clearly are not worth the paper that their titles are written on. The council’s behaviour is an insurance case of driving into the wrong house and crashing into a tree that you don’t own.

Carol.musyoka@gmail.com Twitter: @carolmusyoka

Source: Business Daily Africa

Posted in Analysis and Opinion | 3 Comments »

A sperm donor does not a father make

Posted by Administrator on December 1, 2011

In the past month, we have once again been entertained by yet another interesting paternity drama involving a famous personality.

This whole ‘search for my father’ business really tires me because, after all, many of us cannot confirm who our fathers truly are.

We operate on blind faith which we support with words like, “I have my dad’s hair “or “I have my dad’s teeth.”

I find it somewhat comical (and tragic) when someone makes the huge journey to trace who their father is while the rest of us live happily in ignorant bliss.

You see, life starts when one random sperm makes a mad dash for the single ovum that is roaming in the female reproductive canal.

From there, it is all about the woman. She alone ensures that the ovum turns into a foetus and is birthed as a fully developed baby.

The long journey to turn this child into an adult begins. And that is even before we get to how motherhood ravages the female anatomy. Simply put, motherhood is a lifetime chore.

Fatherhood, on the other hand, is an elective duty. No court decree, pronouncement or declaration can turn a sperm donor into a father.

He has to have the inner conviction that it is in his best interests to co-operate with the mother in raising their child.

There are many men who, even when faced with indisputable evidence regarding their seed, still walk away.

Give and hope to take

Therefore, any woman who leaves her baby-making machine wide open had better hope that her partner in crime will reciprocate and do what is honourable and fair in the eyes of God and man.

If you let your man off the hook on day one, do not hope that later on in life his conscience or a court case will make him see the folly of his ways. It is unfortunate but sadly, that is how the cookie crumbles.

It is sad, in this day and age, to see how the journey to prove paternity always leaves the mother torn to moral shreds.

Even arguments about being innocent and naïve count for nothing because the world believes that you deserve no mercy if you even half willingly parted your legs. God help you if you chose to procreate with the wrong party.

If you happened to have procreated with your relative’s hubby or boyfriend, then you become the two-timing harlot of the century.

If you in any way grovelled or begged for some form of handout from the reluctant father (or his friends and relatives), then you and Judas Iscariot are blood siblings.

Urgent quest

The search for one’s father is usually marked with drama and unnecessary turmoil. Just read Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father and you will understand that children, especially boys, struggle with the idea of ‘father’.

It does not help matters that this quest usually gets even more urgent as one become an adult.

So, the whole world cannot understand how a grown man with a family and career can subject himself to the humiliation and most possible outcome of being rejected by his own father.

Ghost of trysts past

Do legally issued Papa decrees result in any satisfaction, especially when they come after years of denial and trading of accusations?

How does one reconcile the bank and emotional balances of trying to finally trace where he or she came from?

What if there is no ‘welcome home’ fanfare, complete with the prize bull to slaughter for the long lost son or daughter?

It even becomes sadder when the child in question is hoping that perhaps he can at last use his father’s surname and perhaps get the recognition he has always craved.

The quest for one’s father almost always comes with the faint hope that siblings, step-mums and others will warmly welcome someone with whom they share DNA.

The happy ending almost always never comes because families get vicious and cruel when anyone threatens to damage the poster-perfect image they have worked so hard to portray.

And the mud that comes with the fight usually smears both the people who brought you into this world, sometimes creating unending hostility.

All these paternity squabbles make me wonder whether they are worth it in any way. Children who are compelled to find their fathers must be ready for war.

In the same breath, men must be ready for the ghosts from their sexual past to return and haunt them.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/saturday/A+sperm+donor+does+not+a+father+make++/-/1216/1279228/-/3hndl1z/-/index.html

Posted in Features | 2 Comments »

Wife can’t stand husband ” preaching water and drinking wine”

Posted by Administrator on December 1, 2011

Kenya, Nov 30 – A Bishop has gone to court complaining that his estranged wife has been harassing him after their marriage was dissolved by a court of law.

John Kigoi Nduati, the presiding bishop of Gods Power Church and Ministry claims that after his marriage with Dorcas Mugure Kamau was made obsolete in October 2010, she has allegedly resorted to acts of sabotage.

In his suit papers, Nduati argues that on numerous occasions since the conclusion of the divorce case, Mugore has stormed his house and carted away all the household items in his absence to his detriment and impoverishment.

The height of the harassment and frustration he has undergone Nduati adds, was when Mugore allegedly stormed his church in the middle of a sermon three months ago and started hurling abuses at the top of her voice.

Nduati says the actions of his ex-wife are not only criminal but are calculated to bring him down, destroy his pastoral work and wreck his life completely.

He contends that he has fulfilled all the obligations due from him to the two children from their marriage by providing for all their needs and paying school fees.

The man of God now wants the court to permanently restrain her or through agents and proxies from moving near his residential house and place of work.

But Mugore in response maintains that their marriage subsists because a decree nullifying it is yet to be issued.

The aggrieved woman is also seeking a review of the custody order.

She claims pastor Nduati is a habitual liar and provides for his children when he feels like, adding the grounds upon which the application is based are insincere and frivolous.

Mugore also wants the maintenance figure increased from Sh60,000 to 180,000 per month given the high cost of living.

The respondent claims she moved out of the matrimonial home and his church due to his violence ” because I can’t stand seeing him preaching water and drinking wine”.

The case will be heard on December 7.

Source- http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Kenya Ranked Top in World’s Fraud Incidences

Posted by Administrator on December 1, 2011

Kenya has the highest incidences of fraud in the world, according to a global ranking of 78 countries surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Overall, 66 per cent of organisations in Kenya say they were victims of economic crime over the last 12 months, nearly double the global average of 34 per cent.

“Economic crime is a real concern in Kenya. It is important to focus on preventing these crimes by strengthening our legal and judicial system and improving awareness of mitigation strategies to help organisations deal with crimes after they happen,” said Alphan Njeru, leader of PwC’s regional public sector group.

The incidence average is 57 per cent in Africa. In 2009, Kenya ranked second after South Africa with 57 per cent reported incidence of economic crime.

The results are generated from 4,000 responses from senior executives in the 78 countries with PwC terming this as the most comprehensive survey on economic crime.

Though the survey estimates the loss at Sh10million to an organisation through economic crimes, the direct cost of the crimes is difficult to gauge, it adds.

In Kenya, theft or asset misappropriation is cited as the most common type of economic crime, followed by accounting fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Cybercrime originating from Africa is cited as a worrisome trend, and it is ranked as one of the top crimes in Kenya.
“The perception of cybercrime as a predominantly external threat is changing and organizations are now recognizing the risk of of cybercrime coming from inside as well”.

Source- http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Kenya+ranks+top+in+world+s+fraud+incidences/-/539552/1281992/-/9k1xyw/-/index.html

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Mount Kenya Entertainment Presents Jamhuri Day Celebrations-December 11, 2011

Posted by Administrator on December 1, 2011

Posted in Announcements, Kenya: Entertainment | Comments Off on Mount Kenya Entertainment Presents Jamhuri Day Celebrations-December 11, 2011

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