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Archive for February 15th, 2012

Men Battery: Where is the problem?

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012


Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Insight: Kenyatta rises as tribal loyalty trumps ICC charge

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012

A supporter of Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta holds a poster during a solidarity walk through Gatundu town, north of Nairobi (Noor Khamis Reuters, Reuters / January 23, 2012)

A supporter of Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta holds a poster during a solidarity walk through Gatundu town, north of Nairobi (Noor Khamis Reuters, Reuters / January 23, 2012)

GATUNDU, Kenya (Reuters) – Next door to the mansion where Kenya’s richest man, presidential contender and now war crimes suspect Uhuru Kenyatta grew up near the capital Nairobi, stands Francis Karanja’s mud hut with a tin roof.
Father of two Karanja voted for the 50-year-old Kenyatta to be his member of parliament, hoping the son of Kenya’s founding father, Jomo Kenyatta, would help him rise out of the poverty that traps millions of Kenyans.

“As you can see, Kenyatta is my neighbor. I feel he has neglected me since we voted him into parliament. We still struggle to make ends meet,” said Karanja, 39, who ekes out a meager living selling milk he pours from a large jerrycan into one-liter bottles for his customers.
But despite his disappointment, and Kenyatta’s indictment last month for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Karanja says he will vote for the Kenyatta scion in a coming presidential election.

“I feel sympathy for him because of the charges he faces and will vote for him again. We Kikuyu are loyal to our own,” said Karanja, referring to the largest of Kenya’s more than 40 tribes to which both he and Kenyatta belong.
This is a sign that tribal alliances trump ideology, or even a government’s record of rule, in East Africa’s biggest economy, which was shaken by bloody post-poll violence following disputed 2007 elections.

At least 1,220 people were killed in the worst communal fighting in Kenya’s history and more than 300,000 were driven from their homes by the bloodshed which forms the basis of the ICC charges against Kenyatta and three other prominent leaders.
The ICC move has split the country, with some saying the war crimes court charges make Kenyatta unfit for public office. Kenyatta, however, is appealing, and has vowed to keep alive his bid to be elected president in polls due by March 2013.

Far from relinquishing his political ambitions as a result of the indictment, he has quit his government job as finance minister, swapped his designer suits for a baseball cap and Nelson Mandela-style shirts, and hit the campaign trail.

Rivals had hoped the confirmation of the ICC charges would signal his political demise but the opposite seems to be happening.
An opinion poll issued by Ipsos-Synovate Kenya on February 6 showed his ratings in the race to be president have risen since the ICC charges, while the lead of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the frontrunner and Kenyatta’s political nemesis, is slipping.

“Uhuru is a hero because of (the) ICC,” said Hezbon Ngaruiya, a church minister near the Gatundu home of Kenyatta, whose first name Uhuru means “freedom” in Swahili, a widely-spoken language in the country and in East Africa.
“The case has not hurt him, in fact it has made him more popular than ever. He will save a lot of money which he would have used on publicity during the campaigns,” said Ngaruiya.


The ICC says Kenyatta mobilized an outlawed Mafia-style Kikuyu Mungiki criminal gang to kill members of the Kalenjin and Luo tribes, which both backed Odinga in the 2007 election.

Kenyatta, who is ranked Kenya’s richest man by Forbes magazine, has rejected the war crimes charges.

The post-election violence erupted after supporters of Odinga claimed that President Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu, had stolen victory in the polls. Attacks on Kikuyu supporters of Kibaki triggered a bloody cycle of retaliatory attacks against Kalenjins and Luos.
A graduate of prestigious Amherst College in Massachusetts in the Unites States, Kenyatta is heir to his late father’s vast business empire, spanning land ownership, the country’s biggest dairy company, five-star hotels, and interests in banking, insurance and exclusive schools.
In his Kikuyu heartland, many of those driven from their homes by the violence in 2007 and 2008 are still destitute and languishing in camps more than four years later. Their leaders’ promises to find them new places to live have come to naught.

Yet many still express ethnic loyalty to Kenyatta. A feeling prevails among many Kikuyus that Odinga’s Luo tribe has escaped judgment by the ICC, and this will sway their vote in the upcoming election.

Anthony Nganga lives at a camp in Kikuyu-dominated Nyandarua, far from his Kiambaa farm in the Rift Valley where his family was attacked and had to flee to save their lives.
“Three-quarters of those who should be in The Hague are still free,” said Nganga, a Kikuyu like Kenyatta.

“The Luos also killed Kikuyus and none of their leaders was charged. We have a lot of bitterness about that. This is why people feel the ICC process is flawed and dismiss it altogether. It is also why Uhuru is still popular even here,” he said.
Nganga’s wife Mumbi and newborn son survived the worst single attack of the violence when a Kalenjin mob torched a church on New Year’s Day 2008, killing nearly 30 people.


Kenyatta wants to be a flag-bearer for the Kikuyu, but that bloc alone would not be enough to propel him to the presidency.
Staying a step ahead of his rivals, he has formed a new alliance with William Ruto, an ethnic Kalenjin, the third largest tribe in the country.
Ruto has also been indicted by the ICC for mobilizing the Kalenjin to fight the Kikuyu after the December 27, 2007 election.
So the alliance both unites two communities that attacked each other, and also forms a strong voting bloc.

Kenyatta’s clarion call to his supporters is “tuko pamoja” in Swahili meaning ‘we are together’, alluding to the tribal alliances he is forging.
At joint rallies since the ICC ruling, Kenyatta is regularly feted like a rock star, as he and Ruto kneel side by side to receiving the blessing of priests and pastors.

But with both men running for president, it is not clear who would take the back seat when it comes to a vote, although for now they profess a common enemy in Odinga.
The prime minister is the man standing between Kenyatta and his ambition to walk in his father’s footsteps. Odinga commands a cult-like following among his Luo tribe which hails from the west of the country near Lake Victoria.

Odinga, 67, known as “Agwambo” which means controversial or daring, represents the strongest challenge yet to the Kikuyu.
Two of Kenya’s three presidents since independence from Britain in 1963 have been Kikuyu, the exception being former president Daniel arap Moi, a Kalenjin like Ruto.

Many Kikuyus have said they fear an Odinga presidency. Critics express fears that he would be anti-business.
They cite Odinga’s remarks in a biography indicating he was a plotter in a failed coup attempt in 1982. The fact that he was educated in former communist East Germany – he named his first-born son Fidel after Cuba’s Fidel Castro – has raised eyebrows.


Although Odinga projects himself as a champion of the poor, he is part of Kenya’s rich elite with interests in oil, a liquid petroleum gas cylinder maker and a molasses factory producing ethanol for export. But his wealth is dwarfed by Kenyatta’s.

Odinga’s constituency includes Nairobi’s Kibera slum, one of Africa’s largest and a haven for bandits. Critics say he has done little to fight poverty in Kibera, but again, ethnically-aligned supporters seem ready to forgive this.

“Why can’t they leave it to Raila (Odinga)? He gave Kibaki votes, it is now our turn,” said Roslyn Akinyi, 36, a Luo, squatting on a low stool poking her fork at fish sizzling on an open fire in Kibera.
Many Kikuyus say they are grateful to Odinga for throwing his weight behind Kibaki to help him win the presidency in 2002, crushing a challenge from his then rival Kenyatta.

But it seems few now countenance returning the favour.
The Kikuyu and Luo have had a bitter feud that goes back to when Odinga’s father was vice president to Kenyatta’s father. They fell out, and Odinga’s father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, became a vocal opposition critic of Jomo Kenyatta.

This still counts in Kibaki’s home turf, where tea estates owned by the president and other neighboring farms carpet the hillsides in green. With Kibaki not eligible to run, this means Kenyatta gets the nod here, not Odinga.

“We cannot vote for someone we don’t trust. Uhuru is our son,” said Simon Kiboi, a 60-year-old tea farmer in Kibaki’s constituency of Othaya deep inside central Kenya.


It is not however certain Kenyatta will be allowed to run for the presidency with the ICC charges hanging over his head.
Rights groups have asked the High Court to bar him and Ruto from running for the top seat.
The court has banned public debate about whether they can take part until it decides whether the ICC charges disqualify them. This gag also extends to the media.

Whatever the High Court decides, either party is likely to appeal, and the case could end up before Kenya’s Supreme Court and could take months to resolve.

Should the ICC grant them the green light to appeal against their charges, it would also take months for the appeal court to hear their petitions, during which time Kenyatta could potentially still run for the presidency and win.

If their appeals to the ICC are rejected by the court, a trial may start this year. This could lock them out of the race because it could be unworkable to attend court sessions in the Hague and mount a serious campaign in Kenya at the same time.

Were Kenyatta to be put on trial and excluded from the race to the presidency, the Kikuyu say they would lack a strong candidate to retain their hold on power. It is not clear if he would back another candidate if he was barred from running.

“The Kikuyu would have no real leader if Kenyatta does not run, there is no precedent for such a scenario,” said anti-corruption campaigner and political commentator John Githongo.


There are other presidential hopefuls too.

Martha Karua, a lawyer who hails from a tribe that is a cousin to the Kikuyu, and Peter Kenneth, a Kikuyu junior minister with a background in banking, also want to follow in Kibaki’s footsteps and are challenging Kenyatta.

Analysts give them little chance of succeeding, but they concede the two would gain more supporters if Kenyatta was locked out of the presidential race by a possible ICC trial.

Karua, known as the ‘Iron Lady’ after walking out on Moi at a public rally years ago, told Reuters at her constituency near Mount Kenya that electing leaders based on tribes does not pay.
“Those displaced by the post-election violence are Kikuyus like Kibaki. Are they not still living in tents?” she asked.
Kenneth’s supporters, mainly well-to-do Kikuyus, say he should be president because he has helped create new jobs. But even in his constituency, some say Kenyatta would get their vote because Kenneth has not yet been tested on the national stage.

While Kenyatta’s support among poor Kikuyu appears strong, among the young, educated, wealthy or urban professionals where Karua and Kenneth have found support, backing for the son of a Kenyan political legend is more ambivalent.

In Gatundu, Naomi Kamau, a 25-year-old teacher born in the area said not all Kikuyus were behind Kenyatta.
“I’m unlikely to vote for someone facing such charges, and secondly I don’t trust the company keeps. I’ll vote based on their policies, even if it is Odinga or Karua,” she said.

“We have to start voting outside the box.”

Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-kenya-kenyattatre81e1m4-20120215,0,535869,full.story

Posted in Kenya | 4 Comments »

Congolese singer Olomide charged with rape in France

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012

Olomide, pictured in 2005, denies the charges (AFP/File, Seyllou)

Olomide, pictured in 2005, denies the charges (AFP/File, Seyllou)

PARIS — A French judge has charged Congolese music star Koffi Olomide with three counts of rape and illegal confinement after complaints from three of his former backup dancers, his lawyer said Wednesday.

“Koffi Olomide went Monday afternoon of his own free will to answer a summons by an investigating judge in (the Parisian suburb of) Nanterre, where he was charged,” Olomide’s lawyer Manuel Aeschlimann told AFP.

The singer has since returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo, he said, without waiting for a French ruling on whether he should be held without bail.

Aeschlimann said a former dancer had filed a complaint in 2006 and that two years later two more dancers followed suit. One of the plaintiffs was a minor at the time of the alleged sexual assaults.

He said the case against Olomide was “empty and hollow. There is no material evidence and the statements of the three women who accuse him of rape contain numerous contradictions.”

Aeschlimann alleged that the women filed the complaints in the hopes of obtaining temporary French residency permits.

Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hdiPmuEziqgFbrNJsQoyCKn50VoQ?docId=CNG.0c6df8157d8deebf574ce140de218d7f.a91

Posted in Africa | Comments Off on Congolese singer Olomide charged with rape in France

Urgent tweet in Kenya village: Help, sheep missing

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012

Kenya Twitter Village.JPEG

LANET UMOJA, KENYA — When the administrative chief of this western Kenyan village received an urgent 4 a.m. call that thieves were invading a school teacher’s home, he sent a message on Twitter. Within minutes residents in this village of stone houses gathered outside the home, and the thugs fled.

“My wife and I were terrified,” said teacher Michael Kimotho. “But the alarm raised by the chief helped.”

The tweet from Francis Kariuki was only his latest attempt to improve village life by using the micro-blogging site Twitter. Kariuki regularly sends out tweets about missing children and farm animals, showing that the power of social media has reached even into a dusty African village. Lanet Umoja is 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of the capital, Nairobi.

“There is a brown and white sheep which has gone missing with a nylon rope around its neck and it belongs to Mwangi’s father,” he tweeted recently in the Swahili language. The sheep was soon recovered.

Kariuki said that even the thieves in his village follow him on Twitter. Earlier this year, he tweeted about the theft of a cow, and later the cow was found abandoned, tied to a pole.

Kariuki’s official Twitter page shows 300 followers, but the former teacher estimated that thousands of the 28,000 residents in his area receive the messages he sends out directly and indirectly. He said many of his constituents, mostly subsistence farmers, cannot afford to buy smart phones, but can access tweets through a third-party mobile phone application. Others forward the tweets via text message.

“Twitter has helped save time and money. I no longer have to write letters or print posters which take time to distribute and are expensive,” Kariuki said.

A recent report said that Twitter is enjoying big growth across Africa. It said South Africans use Twitter the most, but Kenya is second in usage on the continent.

The research by Kenya-based Portland Communications and Tweetminster found that over the last three months of 2011, Kenyans produced nearly 2.5 million tweets. More than 80 percent of those polled in that research said they mainly used Twitter for communicating with friends, 68 percent said they use it to monitor news.

Beatrice Karanja, the head of Portland Nairobi, said the findings show that the use of Twitter is part of a revolution for governments that want to open dialogue with their citizens and businesses that want to talk with their consumers.

When a man in his late fifties in Kariuki’s village fell into a pit latrine in December, the village administrator’s tweets mobilized area residents and saved him.

Rachel Bremer, a spokeswoman for Twitter, said her company wasn’t aware of Kariuki and his innovative use of Twitter, but she called it “a great one.”

“We are constantly amazed by the ways people all over the world are using Twitter to communicate,” she said.

She said that the company has a web page dedicated to telling stories about the unique uses of Twitter. The page highlights how one man in Pakistan live-tweeted the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, how a father and daughter reunited after 11 years, and how a man raised funds to save a dog’s life.

Erik Hersman, a co-founder of internationally acclaimed Ushahidi, a nonprofit technology company, said Kariuki’s use of Twitter is a great example of how Kenyans in even the most remote areas can embrace social media.

“If a chief in upcountry Kenya is able to use and have an impact with his constituents by using tools like Twitter, it’s not too long before we see a massive movement in the country with these types of social media,” he said.

Kariuki, 47, said that he has been able to bring down the crime rate in Lanet Umoja from near-daily reports of break-ins to no such crimes in recent weeks. He also uses Twitter to send messages of hope, especially for the young and unemployed.

“Let’s be the kind of people that do good for others whether we get paid back or not, whether they say thank you or not,” one recent tweet said.

Kariuki said he intends to use Twitter to promote peace as Kenya prepares to hold another presidential election in the next year, it’s first since the 2007-08 postelection violence that killed more than 1,000 people in Kenya.

Kariuki said that when he was first appointed the administrative chief of Lanet Umoja he asked himself how he could tackle the region’s problems. First was solving the region’s poor communication infrastructure. He said he is currently setting guidelines to help him sift through the information he gets so that he does not send out incorrect tweets.

“Information is power, but information can also be destructive. What we are trying to minimize is destructive information,” Kariuki said.


On the Internet:

Chief Kariuki: https://twitter.com/Chiefkariuki

Unique uses of Twitter: http://stories.twitter.com

SOURCE: http://www.wral.com/news/technology/story/10732476/

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Kenya’s legal same-sex marriages

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012

Juliana and Esther Soi married in the early 1990s

Juliana and Esther Soi married in the early 1990s

Homosexual acts may be outlawed in Kenya but there is a long tradition among some communities of women marrying each other.

This is hard to fathom in a country where religious leaders condemn gay unions as “un-African” – and those who dare to declare their partnerships openly often receive a hostile public reaction.

But these cases involving women are not regarded in the same light.

If a woman has never had any children, she takes on what is regarded as the male role in a marriage, providing a home for the younger woman, who is then encouraged to take a male sexual partner from her partner’s clan to become pregnant.

Her offspring will be regarded as the fruit of the marriage.

“I married according to our age-old tradition, where if a woman was not lucky enough to have her own children, she got another woman to honour her with children,” says 67-year-old Juliana Soi.

Sitting on armchairs placed in the shade outside her grass thatched home in Rift Valley’s Elburgon area, she tells me she married Esther in the early 1990s.

‘Children are like blankets’

Esther, who remained demure during the visit and too shy to speak to me, is 20 years her junior and together they nominally have five children.

“You know children are like blankets,” says Juliana.

“And one needs to have their own blanket so that you do not have to go to your neighbours’ house at night to ask for a blanket since he will definitely be using his at that time.”

This customary arrangement – practised among Kenya’s Kalenjin (encompassing the Nandi, Kipsigis, and Keiyo), Kuria and Akamba communities – has come under the legal spotlight recently because of an inheritance case currently before the courts in the coastal city of Mombasa.

In a landmark ruling, the high court last year recognised that, in accordance with Nandi customary law on woman-to-woman marriages, Monica Jesang Katam could inherit her late wife’s property.

However, the relatives of the dead woman – who was the older partner in the marriage – are challenging the verdict. A large house in Mombasa is at stake.

If the appeal fails, Franklin Chepkwony Soi should have no difficulty in claiming his inheritance rights when he is older.

“I was born here at Juliana’s house and Esther here is my mother,” the 20 year old explains.

“This lady Juliana married my mother because she wanted some sons to inherit her property.”

‘No sex’

He says he does not know who his biological father is – and is not interested to find out.

He adds that he has never experienced any social stigma and the small community in Elburgon accepts their family.

Franklin Chepkwony Soi (L) says he has not faced any social stigma because of his parents' marriage

Franklin Chepkwony Soi (L) says he has not faced any social stigma because of his parents' marriage

But his parents are at pains to point out that they do not have a sexual relationship.

“No! No! Nothing sexual takes place,” says Juliana, adding that the two women sleep in separate huts.

Pointing at Esther, she goes on: “By the time a woman like me decides to marry a young woman like this one, I must have reached menopause.

“At that stage any love activities are for the young woman.”

The couple laugh as she adds: “A woman my age is like an aged cockerel – too old to do anything.”

This mainly rural practice of a barren woman marrying another woman for the purposes of having children is slowly fading away.

In some communities in western Kenya, where modern fertility treatments are not accessible, polygamy is the preferred way of dealing with infertility.

A wife who is unable to have children will often encourage her husband to remarry so the family can have children.

But the Mombasa ruling could challenge this patriarchal approach and give woman-to-woman marriages a stronger footing in the modern world.

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16871435

Posted in Kenya | 6 Comments »

Sick in America, Aching for Africa

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012

Adam Nadel/Malaria Consortium

Adam Nadel/Malaria Consortium

CHICAGO — I came down with my first African disease in America. It happened after I traveled to Nigeria last April to witness my country elect a new government. I landed with notebooks and questions, but not antimalarial medication. I had been more prudent on dozens of prior stays, but, I thought, no matter: I had already been running around the continent for months with no mishaps. After three rounds of free and fair voting, I returned to my apartment in Nairobi, buoyant about democracy in Africa.

Two weeks later, during a visit to the United States for Mother’s Day, I found myself flat on a gurney, shuddering in a hallway in a bleached Chicago hospital. Fever, chills, muscle pain, dehydration: I knew I had malaria. The mosquito-borne parasite must have been brewing in my bloodstream for weeks.

Malaria is a nasty disease and a grave threat to life and to productivity, particularly in Africa. The parasite killed about 781,000 people in 2009, mostly south of the Sahara, and is properly called a scourge of the 108 countries where it’s endemic. But the disease can be prevented by taking the prophylaxis I forgot or simply by sleeping under a mosquito net.

Upon arriving at the Chicago hospital, I told every doctor in sight I had malaria. They needed a lot of convincing. Over the next two days, I underwent blood cultures to check for typhoid, a spinal tap to screen for meningitis, and lengthy interviews with the rarely roused tropical-disease specialist. Three bags of antibiotics hovered over two separate IVs in my right arm. Curious doctors hovered over them. Feverish and miserable, I found myself wishing I had fallen ill in Africa — anywhere where the disease is so prevalent as to be unmistakable. My nurse — a Nigerian, coincidentally — shook her head at the stream of orders and ointments coming into my room. “It’s just malaria,” she laughed with me.

Her laugh, along with the hospital’s final bill — almost $16,000, not fully covered by insurance — suggested that I may have been better off in a different cultural context. In Kenya, my home at the time, doctors treat malaria as a repeat player, not an exotic case study. A single prick of blood is enough to diagnose the illness; a spinal tap is out of the question. Thanks to subsidies from drug makers, the three-day sequence of pills used to treat the disease comes over-the-counter for less than one dollar.

The differential in cost and convenience is a result of both differing resources and differing attitudes toward risk. I’ve visited my share of hospitals and clinics across Africa, and I’ll venture to say that patients and doctors there are less cautious. Where official safety nets don’t exist, tolerance for illness and injury is high. Insurance policies are scarce. Resilience is assumed. Many hospitals are strictly pay as you go. It’s counterintuitive, but this “no frills” approach can improve outcomes and reduce waste. Absent expensive imaging equipment, doctors keep up their diagnostic instincts. Basic tasks are shifted to nurses or community health workers.

In the United States, by contrast, the most relevant thing about health care is that it does too little and costs too much: standing alone, the U.S. healthcare industry would be the fifth-largest economy in the world. Shannon Brownlee, a colleague at the New America Foundation who wrote a book about overtreatment in the United States, says that a Western sense of advancement is the result of “interventions in data management, consumer empowerment, and awareness, but not necessarily in retail care.” Doctors can outsource diagnosis to machines. Patients armed with Web research can insist on unnecessary procedures. The cost of such decisions is often mystifying to patients, and may ultimately break the bank.

I don’t wish to romanticize health systems in Africa. Africa’s advantage might not be so for a serious heart condition, or a car accident, or a mysteriously crying infant. Inadequate access to care is a real problem, especially outside of major cities. Still, if Americans have come to want it all, African patients tend to expect less, and the result may be greater efficiency.

Where’s the middle ground? Practitioners in rich and poor countries alike are looking for cheaper diagnostics and leaner models for delivering care: less of doing anything that’s possible, more of doing everything that’s reasonable. If there is a sweet spot, I’d wager that unfussy African health systems will get to it first.

Source: http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/sick-in-america-aching-for-africa/

Posted in Africa | 12 Comments »

Death Announcement: John Stephen Mutero Kanyotu

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012

The Late John Stephen Mutero Kanyotu

The Late John Stephen Mutero Kanyotu

We regret to announce the death of John Stephen Mutero Kanyotu in Portland, ME on Friday, February 10th, 2012 of natural causes.

He was son to Margaret N. Murigu of Nairobi, brother to George Kanyotu (Dallas,TX), and had numerous step-siblings and cousins.

The Memorial Service will be held on SUNDAY 02/19/2012 starting 3pm in Dallas TX:

Upendo Baptist Church

916   N. Jupiter Rd

Garland, TX 75042

972.276.9704; 214.868.6007


Family and friends are meeting as follows;


Wed 2/15/12 5 P.M – 9 P.M

Sun 2/19/12 as from 2 P.M

– at the Home of Eddie Kahi; address 411 Darter Dr Kennesaw Ga, 30144


Wed 2/15 thru Fri 2/17 as from 7 P.M each day

– at the home of Raymond Hamisi: address 18600 Dallas Parkway, Apt 703,

Dallas, TX 75287.

Please join us on Sat 2/18/12 from 5p-9:30p for the main Dallas Fundraiser at:

Nai Sports Grill Addison

15375 Addison Rd., Addison, TX, 75001

Updates on “https://www.facebook.com/groups/weluvubigjohn/327081030676916/?notif_t=group_activity”


***A Memorial Fund account has been opened for those who cannot make it to the meetings, but would like to support the family with transport and funeral costs:

Bank Name:            Wells Fargo Bank (Georgia)

Account Name:     John Stephen Mutero Kanyotu Memorial Fund

(Just ask for it by name.)

Deposits can be made at any Wells Fargo nationwide.

(For bank-to-bank wires, the bank rules say we can only email the account number individually)



“Don’t regret for the candle being extinguished; Rejoice instead for how bright it burned and how beautifully it lit your way” – Unknown

May God rest his soul in eternal peace and continue to bless and comfort those left behind.

Posted in Obituaries | 6 Comments »

Bachelors: Ten Reasons Why You Should Be Dating an Older Woman

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012

By Older I don’t mean Old. I’m not talking about someone who was a few years behind your mum in High School and remembers how your mum used to bully her. I’m talking about 6 years maximum, give or take. Unless of course she is 40 but looks 25, but we shall cover Cougars in another note.

So why dear bachelor should you be dating an older woman?

1 – The Older Woman comes to the table with far lower expectations. By the time you come around she has already experienced unbelievable heartache at the hands of real jerks. Guys whom by comparison make you look like Archangel Gabriel. Unlike the Young Thang; she doesn’t expect you to deliver the moon, the stars, a unicorn and a fairytale existence. She will be perfectly content with you just not cheating on her.

2 – The Older Woman has Experience. Ahem. I don’t think I need to say any more on this.

3 –  Quick story. A friend of ours once brought his latest catch to our watering hole. She was about 19, and completely breathtakingly beautiful. As is the norm in Kenyan bars, when it got to 2100hrs ( that 9 pm, for those of you who went to school but didn’t get an education) the turned down the music so that we could watch Prime Time News. ( By the way; why do they do that? I mean, we have TVs at home, if we wanted to watch news we’d be there!). Now during the news there was a story about Amos Kimunya. This chick says she supports Amos Kimunya because he has done a good job with Football in Kenya. In shock, one of us asked her who she thought Amos Kimunya was. She confidently replied ” Coach of Harambee Stars”. At that time Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee was having some shidas as well, but that’s no excuse for confusing him with the Finance Minister of the Country! Needless to say my pal dismissed her vibe with the swiftness of a Moi one o’clock bulletin.

With these tois your conversation is pretty much assured to revolve around music and celebrities. Period. Woe unto you if she starts talking about some local ‘celeb’ whom you have never heard of. With an older woman you are going to talk about more stuff; politics, world affairs, the environment.

4 –  The Challenge: With the advent of the Chipo Culture; picking up a young thang from the Bar/Club/Church is easier than catching a cold after jogging naked on a rainy July evening in Limuru. Lets face it; if you have a car, your own crib, passable looks and a modest amount of money in your pocket…you are pretty much guaranteed to pull. Where’s the fun in that?

Now imagine the challenge of getting with a high powered business executive; a CEO or one of these fire-spitting FIDA council members. There is an actual chase, real thrill in overcoming stiff resistance and the pure satisfaction of achieving a near impossible goal.

5 – She has her own life. A young girl is likely to be living with her parents or sharing accommodation with a friend. Whatever the case wherever she stays is likely not to be anywhere near as free and comfortable as your Bachelor Pad. Which is why you will find her slowly but steadily transferring all her possessions from her place to yours; starting with a toothbrush. Before you know it, your house is infested with feminine hygiene products.

Young Thangs also tend to be clingy. She will build her life around you. Your phone rings every 30 minutes, with calls like ” where are you sweetie?” and ” Si I come join you and your pals?” On the other hand an older woman has her own life. When she calls its purely for the matters at hand. She gives you your space and has the confidence to let you hang with your boys.

6 – Ideally an older woman should be more mature in her words, thoughts and actions. Gone are the hormone-induced mega tantrums over socks left in the  sitting room, or a full on thermo-nuclear scale argument because you didn’t return her missed call. All in all, your blood pressure will be far more stable with an older woman than with a PYT who is still drowning in a turbulent sea of adolescent hormones.

7) Your Bank Manager Will Love Her Too: Why? Because unlike these Bambas she doesn’t think that ‘going dutch’ means being charged at the Hague. She pays her way in the relationship. Who knows, she may even do more than her fair share money-wise. I’m just saying that if she decides to pay rent for you so that you can move from Huruma to Hurlingham; so that she can park her BMW outside your digs without fear of it not being there in the morning…that’s a plus. Which leads me to…..

8 – It’s Time Men Started Thinking Like Women: Since the dawn of time, women have been using their natural charms to get ahead in life. On the other hand men find it debasing and some how even under-handed to sleep their way to the top. Screw. That. If your female boss ties that promotion you have been passed-over for ten times with a little nocturnal enterprise… I say ask your self ” What Would A Woman Do?” 8 times out of 10, you’ll hit that all the way up the corporate ladder.

9 – It’s Just Fun for Fun’s Sake: An older woman will understand that the social conventions of Kenya weigh heavily against a younger man marrying an older woman. So, the relationship begins with marriage being completely out of the picture. You guys kick it for a while; until she finds someone her own age.

10 – Lastly, there is a lot to be said for being different. If you are a successful young man, going out with a successful older woman; your stock amongst your peers and more importantly amongst young ladies goes through the roof. You are the Alpha Male who can dominate the Alpha Female…and not many of your peers could say the same about themselves.

So there. Ten Reasons to dump your giggly, gum chewing, Wyre-Groupie chick and upgrade to a more sophisticated older model. Comments?

Thoughts of an Educated Fool is a  random collection of thoughts by a possibly unstable mind. Ranked 562,889,580,219 best blog on the Web by Google (behind ‘Mark Philips: Toe Nail Clipping Chronicles’) this blog is required reading for any person with far too much time and bandwidth.

Follow Bahati also on twitter  @TheBahati

Source: http://insanisblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/bachelors-ten-reasons-why-you-should-be.html

Posted in Analysis and Opinion | Comments Off on Bachelors: Ten Reasons Why You Should Be Dating an Older Woman

Lots of Shuga and…sex!

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012

It has never been too difficult to shock a Kenyan. Liberal westerners will often brand Kenya as a traditional country – conservative and puritanical – but now this image is growing dated, in the capital Nairobi anyway.

The soap opera Shuga, today entering its second season on Kenyan TV this week, may become a metaphor for these fast-changing times, thanks to new technologies and a growing middle class.



A heated Angelo tries to open the miniskirt of his girlfriend Kipepeo. As his temperature continues to rise, he makes an attempt to dive right in.

This scene definitely shocks in a country where just 25 years ago the then president Moi banned the American TV show Solid Gold for showing bikini-clad ladies performing some mildly sensual dances. Also not a fan of modern art and music, Moi preferred to promote traditional dancers and slowly swaying church choirs.

“People who know Kenya from before 1990 will not recognise it anymore,” says Nick Ndeda, who plays Angelo in Shuga. “A revolution is taking place,” echoes Kenyan actress and singer Avril, who plays Miss B’Have, “and the best way to stimulate changes is through soaps and music.”

Lives, loves and sex in Nairobi Shuga is entertainment with a message. That’s why NGOs fighting AIDS and the American government are among the financial contributors to this soap opera produced by a South African team and with a primarily Kenyan cast.

The six-part series focuses on the lives, loves and the sometimes complicated sexual relations of young Kenyans. The characters are depicted struggling to realise their dreams while attending university, living in ghettos and enjoying Nairobi’s bars and dynamic nightlife.

They do this all in a quickly changing social environment, where parents no longer have the final word, AIDS and gays challenge the old traditions and the internet provides an escape route.

Holding up a mirror Shuga is a mirror of Nairobi,” says Ndeda, whose character Angelo surprises himself after his quickie with Kipepeo, by falling in love with her.  But since women are supposed to be submissive and available for anybody who can afford it, Angelo has to stand by as Kipepeo sleeps with all the rich men who promise her a good job.

“This is what is happening in the real world,” Ndeda sighs. “And we show it in Shuga.”

Maybe the trickiest sexual issue remains homosexuality. “Gay” is still a term of abuse in Kenya and is punishable by law. Kenyan president Kibaki was probably taking a relatively mild stance when he once said about gays: ‘Every village has a village fool’.

In other words: ignore them. Ndeda advocates more liberal values: “Don’t neglect gays. There are many more of them in Nairobi than some of us would like to know.” A male student in Shuga casually reveals his sexual orientation when he says he is looking for a male soul mate.

Social changes When Ndeda and Avril were going to primary school in the 1990s, a big change in Kenya was setting in. An African political movement for the introduction of multi-party democracy was coupled with an urge for more cultural freedoms.

The window to the world was being opened by the introduction of international TV, and later by the internet. Such media showed an alternative way of life than that of their parents. “The new technologies offered access to the outside world and so our behaviour changed dramatically,” says Ndeda.

Middle path Meanwhile the older generation wonders whether these “liberated” new youth are not just uncritically aping a decadent Western culture. “We are stuck in the middle,” admits Avril. “We are copying the West but we also want to remain African.” She says she will still show respect to elders as tradition demands, but she will not be told what she can, or cannot, do. “I maintain the right to individual choice, that´s where I draw the line,” she says firmly.

But will this cultural revolution epitomised by Shuga just be for the kids of the well-to-do?  Ndeda and Avril don´t think so. For them, the changes are unavoidable. But Avril admits: `Yes, in the rural areas where women still walk around with fire wood on their heads and not in miniskirts, Shuga may lead to a lot of miscomprehension.”

Source: http://www.rnw.nl/africa/article/lots-shuga-andsex

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Nancy’s got a gun: Justice and impunity in Kenya

Posted by Administrator on February 15, 2012

”]After ethnic violence following the 2007 elections, judicial reform has become a priority in Kenya [GALLO/GETTY]Cambridge, MA – Women wielding guns rarely feature in the news in Kenya. But in the past few weeks, Nancy Baraza, Deputy Chairperson of the Supreme Court, bucked the trend – having pointed a gun at a security guard in an upscale mall in Nairobi. Although the international press has generally overlooked the case, its reverberations tell an interesting story of the state of social and political reform following the violence after the 2007 elections in Kenya – and point to some of the factors that merit attention in the run-up to the highly anticipated elections most likely to be scheduled for December 2012.

Judicial reform was to be a centrepiece for the reconstruction effort following the 2007 elections. The existing judiciary was crippled by rampant corruption, lack of independence and institutional lethargy. Baraza was appointed under this mantle of change. As the most senior female judge in the country’s history, she spoke to gender inequality concerns, as well as to the allegations of ethnic cronyism that had been levelled against senior judicial officials.

Although not openly articulated, her appointment is undoubtedly laced with some ethnic considerations. The prospect of a Kikuyu deputy chief justice serving under a Kikuyu chief justice so soon after an ethnically charged crisis was an uncomfortable one for many, but Baraza – a member of the Luhya minority – was likely meant to countervail such concerns by representing a major, but less politically powerful, group. In many ways, Baraza was supposed to represent the new Kenya – multiethnic, gender-positive, tough on crime and corruption and ready to guide the country towards an internationally significant election.

All of which makes her fall from grace more newsworthy. At a basic social level, her arrogance – pointing a gun at a lowly guard who was just doing her job – is the kind of elite privilege that contributed to and characterised the 2007 crisis; a sense of entitlement that leads politicians and senior government officials to operate outside the law and expect lower-level staff to simply fall in line. Baraza was upset that the security guard didn’t recognise her and requested ID; pointing her gun was the proverbial “do you know who I am?” in a country where poorer people with no access to television or even newspapers – not to mention an inclination to avoid any interactions with the judiciary – would have no idea who she was.

The Baraza situation thus places pressure on the chief justice under his declared intention to address the rampant judicial corruption and make the judiciary relevant. To his credit, he convened an internal investigation, but the reaction in Kenya is telling of the extent to which institutions still have to go in order to restore confidence in their systems. A functioning and legitimised judiciary will be critical to the success of the upcoming elections. Otherwise, individuals will not defer to the court’s decisions, and will challenge elections in the street – as in 2007.

As it stands, Kenyans are sceptical if not entirely unconvinced. Chief Justice Mutunga thus not only needs to run an independent and impartial investigation, but also a transparent one, as the socio-political capital would go a long way towards increasing public confidence in the forthcoming December poll.

The ethnic dimension also complicates the political calculations of major players who must appear tough on judicial excess but cannot risk disrupting the delicate existing balance, particularly in the shadow of the International Criminal Court processes already in play. Removing Baraza from office so close to the election, and after the Supreme Court on which she sits refused to hear the state’s petition for an election date review, may be interpreted as a punitive move. Baraza may have inadvertently opened the door for those who wish to alter the ethnic makeup of the Supreme Court in favour of certain ethno-political factions, and their protest may be difficult to silence so close to the next election.

Then there is the gender issue. Should the judiciary fire Baraza, who, simply by turning up to work every day, challenges many preconceptions about what Kenyan women can do? Would replacing her with another woman be enough to keep these concerns in check, or would it raise the greater concern that the deputy chief justice role should permanently be occupied by a woman? Does this mean that women will indefinitely be number two in the judiciary? Would this be interpreted as a call to arms by women, who make up 51 per cent of the country’s population?

There is something to be said, however, for stripping away all the extraneous concerns and addressing the simple question at hand. Baraza was carrying an illegal firearm that she brazenly waved in the face of an unarmed individual, who was conducting a routine procedure in her official capacity. This, in the context of the threat of al-Shabab attacks that led to the heightened security in the first place.

Her actions not only spat in the face of necessary security measures, but also violated basic notions of human dignity. What would have happened in the converse situation – what if the security guard had turned up at her office and (after miraculously evading security) waved a gun in Baraza’s face? There is a social justice argument to be made for ignoring the power and economic differentials that distinguish the two women and prosecuting Baraza to the full extent of the law, signalling the rebirth of a truly egalitarian Kenya.

Two factors – the extent to which reforms have taken root, and the legitimacy that key players are willing to accord the judiciary – will be the key determinants of the outcome of the next elections. Almost all other issues that are raised, including ethnicity or class, only matter insofar as institutions such as the judiciary are seen to operate above them. The executive and the legislature have already shown their hands. The handling of the Baraza debacle will be indicative of whether the judiciary is ready to keep them in check.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/02/201221272328578240.html

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

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