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Archive for March 21st, 2012

Are Black Men Afraid of Successful Women?

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

The “men are intimidated by successful women” story is always touted as a reason many women are single. I didn’t believe it at all until it sort of happened to me recently. I’m in my early 20s, not discouraged but shocked. What’s your experience and take on this? –T.D.

The truth about partnering is that the more educated you are, which increases your likelihood of success, the more likely you also are to have a spouse. Don’t believe the hype. There are many men in the dating marketplace who see themselves as a will-be Barack Obama, and they are looking for a could-be Michelle Obama type who can alternately support and even lead as they go through this thing called life.

But women aren’t often told this, and as such, there’s a big fear that our professional accomplishments will come at the expense of having a partner. Last week I spoke to a ladies-only room in Washington, D.C., at the National Black Law Students Association. My fellow panelists and I addressed issues ranging from getting ahead in a career and maintaining a healthy work-life balance to, of course, finding a mate.

The students breezed through the first two topics, passively scribbling notes on their BlackBerrys and iPads, but it was the subject of dating and mating that got the high-powered room’s full attention and took up most of the program. You could practically see the thought bubbles above every young woman’s head, wondering about the myth you and too many other women have heard, and even bought into, about men being intimidated by a successful woman.

Smart men — the only kind you want as a partner — know the advantage of having a power player by their side. After the panel, I struck up a conversation with a man in the lobby, also a lawyer, who was newly married and happily bragging about his wife’s professional successes. He told me he had been the breadwinner in their relationship until she opened up a catering company that was currently making more money than he was earning. Thinking back to the panel I’d just finished, I asked, “Are you bothered by that?”

He didn’t let me down. After he looked at me blankly, trying to determine if I was serious, he exclaimed in a thick Southern accent, “Hell, no! When she’s winning, I’m winning!” Lucky for you, I’ve encountered many, many men who think like he does.

Of course, not all men are this enlightened yet. (And not all successful women know what it takes to be a desirable partner. We’ll get to that further down.) There are those who are genuinely insecure with their place in the world and can’t stand to see anyone, much less their women, doing better than they are. But they will never tell you that. You can spot them quickly, though. They tend to cling wholeheartedly to the idea of tradition, are often overwhelmingly sexist and are masters at minimizing your accomplishments.

Their core problem isn’t with a woman’s success or anyone else’s; it’s with them. Don’t bother trying to change him, accommodate him and play small to make him feel big. As soon as you identify this type of man properly, call it a wrap and don’t look back.

I find that some successful women assume that any man who isn’t interested in them must be the type of man I just described. “He’s intimidated by my success!” has become a go-to scapegoat to make women feel better about themselves while they lick the wounds of rejection. It’s also a way for women to avoid taking stock of how they played a role in the untimely demise of a relationship. Sometimes he’s just not, or is no longer, interested, and it has nothing to do with your success and everything to do with you being clueless about how to make a relationship work.

Sometimes a guy stops calling or offers up a “you’re too busy” as an excuse to stop dating or end a relationship because the successful woman he was seeking acted as if her salary or degrees were stand-ins for things that actually matter to him, such as attentiveness, spending time together and support.

The complaints I’ve heard from secure men about successful women are rarely about a woman’s actual job but about her inability to spend quality time; to turn off the critical, demanding “work mode” persona; and to know how to make a man feel that he’s needed or appreciated. Some guys might bail because they’re intimidated by your success, but more lose interest because they don’t like coming in second to a woman’s job and being treated less like her man and more like the help.

Good luck!

Source: THE ROOT


Posted in Sex and Relationships | 2 Comments »

China snatches Sh1.4b police vehicle contract

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

“]The Chery Tiggo, a Sport Utility Vehicle could soon replace the GK Land Rover and Land Cruiser [Photo:File/Standard]Even as you wheel home Chinese goods from almost every shop, get treated in Chinese-built hospitals, drive along Chinese-made super highway, enjoy a soccer game in a China-built stadium, ride a train running on a China-built railway from Lamu to Ethiopia and Sudan, you could soon dial 999 and a policeman responds in a Tiggo.

Chery Tiggo, a Sport Utility Vehicle could soon replace the GK Land Rover and Land Cruiser, as soon as Government imports 760 motor vehicles for the Provincial Administration and Police Department from China ahead of the General Election.

The Administration Police, the Provincial Administration, and Regular police face a severe shortage of vehicles estimated at 800.

In response, the Government has allocated Sh1.4 billion for the purchase of a fresh fleet to bolster security operations.

The acquisition aims to improve and widen security patrols in the wake of Somali militia Al Shabaab attacks, and to prepare for the election.

It is understood that at least Sh1 billion is being spent on the China-made station wagons, single and double cabin pick-up trucks, and at least a dozen lorries to be deployed to the departments.

Investigations by The Standard reveal that the first consignment of 212 cars for the police arrives any time next month, as they are still being customised and spray-painted in the force’s colours and emblazoned in their logos.

The lucrative tender was won by Chery Motors East Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of Stantech Motors in a bidding session after the company was duly pre-qualified by the Ministry of Public Works as a Government supplier.

A consignment of 60 vehicles is reported to be in Mombasa, but Ministry of Internal Security officers remained cagey with information and details of the first consignment, of 100 units of the Chery Tiggo station wagons, 50 double-cabin trucks, and single cabin pick-up trucks of ZX Grand Tiger models.

Some 12 trucks of the JAC model will also be supplied to the uniformed officers.

Internal Security minister George Saitoti said the force was set to receive a fresh fleet, but declined to be drawn into discussion about the consignment from China.

“It is important that we ensure our officers have vehicles that can enable them respond to issues effectively. We currently have a deficit,” the Prof Saitoti said.

Distributed equally

“This financial year the Ministry of Internal Security has been allocated Sh1.4 billion for the purchase of motor vehicles,” Saitoti told The Standard on Wednesday.

Out of this allocation, the minister said Sh49.9 million would buy vehicles for the Provincial Administration; Sh1 billion for regular police, while Sh400 million will be spent on the Administration Police.

His Assistant minister, Orwa Ojode, however, confirmed that the Government is procuring vehicles for the police and the Provincial Administration.

Mr Ojode told The Standard, that there was a shortfall of 800 vehicles countrywide for Internal Security.

He noted that for the police they would import 160 vehicles, which are set to come over in a short while. He said they expect to import 300 vehicles for the Administration Police, and another 300 for the Provincial Administration.

“The vehicles will be distributed equally around the country. There are many district officers who do not have vehicles yet they are required to perform,” he added.

Ojode noted that the Government was importing the vehicles to ensure that the police and Provincial Administration are better equipped to handle security matters.

“We are approaching the General Election and issues of security will be of high concern. We do not want our personnel to be handicapped,” he added.

Ojode noted that they were still pleading with the Treasury to release more funds so that the Government can buy more vehicles.

But some quarters have reacted to the massive importation to be sourced from China’s Chery Automobile Company Ltd, raising concerns even before the consignment of 400 vehicles arrive in Mombasa.

The arrangement for the acquisition has been packaged with 40 vehicles to be delivered free of charge as an incentive.

The freebies have raised questions in the motor sector; with experts warning the number is beyond the normal trial freebies extended to bulk buyers.

Motor vehicle consultant Hanningtone Gaya on Wednesday criticised the deal and warned that the Government would not get value for money.

Said Gaya: “I would not advise the Government to go in that direction. Those are vehicles that have not been tried on Kenya’s rough terrain and bad roads.”

“What is important in the acquisition of a car is first, the quality, and secondly, a reliable after-sales service,” Mr Gaya said in an interview.

“The questions we must ask is where is the after- sales service and are spare parts available and affordable. If these questions are answered in the affirmative then the deal is right,” said Gaya.

“Remember the challenges we experienced with the Mahindra and Daewoo brands? We must not go that direction again,” Gaya warned.

Gaya recommended that police given the arduous nature of operations would have their best bet on Land Cruisers and Land Rovers, which have been tested over time.

Voices of dissent

Gaya dismissed the 40 cars donated free of charge as “a trap meant to hoodwink the (Kenyan) buyer.”

But even within the rank and file of uniformed officers there were voices of dissent.

“We do not want to compromise the image of the police at this crucial time. We are still reeling from the effects of the Mahindra vehicles saga and in an election year this will be politicised,” said a senior police officer who requested anonymity.

A top police officer confirmed that the procurement was being undertaken by Office of the President.

Senior Counsel Paul Muite on Wednesday told The Standard that security acquisitions remained shrouded in mystery despite a new constitutional era requiring transparency and accountability.

“The history of security acquisitions is littered with mysterious procurements and dates back to the 1960s and 1970s. This must stop,” Muite said.

Mr Muite decried how trucks acquired from China have killed many military officers because the vehicles did not meet safety measures.

The decision to turn to China for the vehicles is expected to cause furore from other nations like Japan, Germany, and Britain, which have traditionally supplied cars to the Government of Kenya.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000054604&cid=4&currentPage=1

Posted in Kenya | 8 Comments »

Court upholds ban on Texas immigrant housing law

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that stopped a  Dallas suburb’s ban on illegal immigrants seeking housing.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Farmers Branch overstepped  its authority in 2008 when it passed a law calling on the city’s building  inspector to check the immigration status of anyone wanting to rent an apartment  who wasn’t a U.S. citizen.

Under the law, illegal immigrants would have been barred from rental housing,  and landlords who knowingly allowed them to stay could have their rental  licenses barred.

The appellate court said the city was seeking to exclude illegal immigrants,  particularly Latinos, under the guise of policing housing.

“Because the sole purpose and effect of this ordinance is to target the  presence of illegal aliens within the City of Farmers Branch and to cause their  removal, it contravenes the federal government’s exclusive authority over the  regulation of immigration and the conditions of residence in this country,” the  court’s opinion stated.

The city had appealed the decision of U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle, who  ruled two years ago that the law is unconstitutional after a lawsuit was filed  by apartment owners and tenants.

William Brewer, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said he sensed a  “strong undercurrent” throughout the appellate court’s decision that Farmers  Branch was engaged in discrimination. The ruling is particularly meaningful  because the 5th Circuit has a reputation for conservatism, he said.

Brewer noted that the ruling affirms Boyle’s decision that Farmers Branch  must pay the plaintiffs’ attorney fees, which before the appeal were nearly $2  million. He called that portion of the decision “a strong deterrent” against  other cities seeking to pass similar laws.

“Clearly, both the trial court and the appellate court recognize that this  ordinance was discriminatory,” Brewer said.

Farmers Branch Mayor Bill Glancy said he will talk with City Council members  before deciding whether to push for the matter to be heard by the full appeals  court or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Glancy, who took office last year, said he supported the law and other  efforts to keep illegal immigrants out of Farmers Branch, a suburb with nearly  29,000 residents northwest of Dallas.

“Basically, it has discouraged people who are illegal from coming into the  city,” he said.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a nationwide advocate for tougher  illegal immigration laws who participated in the Farmers Branch case, said he  was not surprised by Wednesday’s ruling. Two of the three judges who heard the  case last year indicated they opposed the city’s law, Kobach said.

“The case is definitely not over,” Kobach said.

Source: http://journalstar.com/news/national/court-upholds-ban-on-texas-immigrant-housing-law/article_c43af86f-df24-5426-abdd-02bd54c4c288.html#ixzz1poWN95NH

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Attacker to be tried for assault leading to Kenyan’s death in Dubai

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

The Late Esther Mwikamba

The Late Esther Mwikamba

DUBAI – The 24-year-old Emirati alleged attacker of a Kenyan woman, who died on Tuesday after lying in coma for 31 days in hospital, will be charged with assault leading to death and sexual harassment.

Colonel Ali Ghanim, Director of Bur Dubai Police Station, said that the accused and his two friends had a dispute with the woman at a discotheque after they allegedly harassed a friend of the woman on February 18.

The woman was attacked at the parking lot of a hotel, he said, adding that the woman was working as a sales clerk in a Dubai mall.

The friend of the deceased told the police that the vicitm was beaten up when she tried to prevent the men from sexually harassing her.

The trio beat her up and ran away, she said.

Police officers rushed to the place and took the victim to the Rashid Hospital. She was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital. She had slipped into coma. She breathed her last on Tuesday, Ali Ghanim said.

He said that the police launched a hunt for the three suspects and arrested them. However, the charges against the two others were dropped after the Emirati suspect admitted that he hit the woman’s head against the ground repeatedly. He told the police that the woman verbally abused him and his friends, which irritated him.

Ali Ghanim said that both the other suspects did not assault the woman.

The body of the victim was referred to the General Department of Forensic Medicine and it will be handed over to the family after completion of legal and administrative procedures, said Ali Ghanim.

Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2012/March/theuae_March654.xml&section=theuae



DUBAI //The body of a Kenyan woman who died on Tuesday after being brutally beaten in a hotel car park will not be repatriated until her mother is well enough to travel.

Esther Wanjiru Mwikamba, 26, died in Rashid Hospital after being in a coma for 31 days. She was trying to protect a friend when she was attacked.

“Esther’s mum is still suffering with high blood pressure and is in a state of shock,” said Penninah Nyokabi Kirku, a friend of Esther’s. “She is thinking about her daughter all the time.”

Esther’s sister, Lucy, said the whole family had now been informed of the death and they were struggling to overcome the tragedy.

“She was the best person in the world. I miss her a lot,” she said.

Members of the Kenya Welfare Association were planning to meet at the country’s consulate today to discuss repatriating the body and supporting the family financially.

“We are trying our best to support the family in this difficult situation,” said Mike Ogolla, the secretary of Kenya Welfare Association.

He added that a lot of people had been visiting the hospital to offer sympathy. There are plans to start a condolence book in the consulate.

An Emirati man is being held in connection with the crime.

Source: http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/kenyans-rally-for-killed-girl

Posted in Diaspora News | 3 Comments »

Inflation in Kenya Drives Women to Commercial Sex Work

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

Karen Gakii, Commercial Sex Worker who was mutilated by her collleagues in Nakuru, Kenya.

Karen Gakii, Commercial Sex Worker who was mutilated by her collleagues in Nakuru, Kenya.

With the current inflation in Kenya, the number of Commercial Sex Workers (CSW) in Nakuru, the capital of the most populated Rift Valley province, is rising steadily – a trend that began after the 2007-2008 post-election violence.


The dangers CSWs are exposing themselves to range from HIV infection to mistreatment by clients and other workers. Karen Gakii, 22, will never forget the ordeal she underwent at the hands of her fellow CSWs.

I learned Gakii’s story from a nurse and met her shortly after her release from the Rift Valley Province General Hospital. Gakii had come to Nakuru three years ago to work as a domestic worker. Lacking a job in Meru, Eastern Kenya, she left home to make ends meet. But mistreatment by her employer and poor pay forced her to opt for one of the world’s oldest professions.

“I was introduced to the ‘job’ by a neighbour, who also came from Meru. She told me I would make more money that what I was earning as house help,” says the mother of one son.

True to her advisor’s words, Gakii made an average of KES279 (USD 3.40) per night while working as a CSW along Gusii road in Nakuru’s Central Business District. This was four times what she was paid per day as a domestic worker.

“I had never dreamt of working as a CSW, but my parents in Meru demanded that I send money for my son’s upkeep, yet I earned too little.”

For close to two years Gakii would sustain herself and send home some money. While at work, Gakii was introduced to four other women from Meru who also worked as CSWs in Nakuru. The group would often meet at the junction between Nehu Pandit and Gusii roads.

“Every one of us had regular clients, but sometimes we served new ones. The regular ones were from around here while the new ones were mostly visitors from other towns,” says Gakii.

She says her colleagues were unhappy that she got more clients and often accused her of using love potions to woo clients. But it was not until she served a colleague’s regular client that Gakii would face the wrath of her life.

“They all turned against me. My colleagues swore to teach me a lesson,” she tells me.

Somehow Gakii’s colleagues had learned that Gakii had not undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a practice still rampant among the Meru tribe. “One day they drugged me with a drink, carried me to a lodge in Kivumbini slums, and mutilated me,” says Gakii. “I woke up the following day. The only thing I remember was taking a drink with my colleagues. I was bleeding furiously.”

It took Gakii two weeks to seek medical attention. By the time she went to the hospital, the infection had spread. “Doctors told me my condition was very bad and I risked losing my uterus. I regret having served that client although he paid me KES 492 (USD 6). I have spent much more on treatment,” she tells me.

Mary Masinde* is also still nursing injuries she suffered at the hands of her client. I was informed about her experiences by sources within the Kenya Police and met her at her home in the Kwa Rhoda slums.

Masinde’s client, a banker, picked her up along Gusii Road and took her to a relatively high-class hotel. After negotiation, they agreed she would be paid KES 984 (USD 12) in the morning.

“Normally I charge KES 189.29 (USD 2.30) for a night but sometimes I increase the price judging by the type of client,” says Masinde. “This one had a good car and also took me to an expensive hotel.”

In the morning when Masinde asked for her pay, the client drove her to an Automated Teller Machine. He withdrew cash and drove towards Eldoret. “I kept asking for my money but he only gave me KES 189.29 (USD 2.30) instead of the amount we had agreed on,” says Masinde.

Near the Ngata Bridge, he slowed down and pushed her out of the car. Masinde was left nursing a hand fracture and a badly bruised body.

“I will still go back to the CSW job. This is the only way I get food for my two children,” she says.

The Peer Counseling Department at the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru (CDN), which deals with rehabilitation of CSWs, blames the government for the increase in twilight women. “If the government created jobs for women, then most of the CSWs in Nakuru would not be in the streets,” says Vincent Omollo, the program coordinator.

According to Omolo, who has been working in this department for 10 years, the last five years have seen the number of CSWs swell rapidly in Nakuru, Molo Gilgil, Naivasha, and Kampi Samaki in Baringo. Poverty, he says, is the bottom line of what drives most women to join the trade.

“The situation is so bad that even high school girls confess to getting involved in commercial sex to raise school fees and earn pocket money,” says Omollo. Such girls, he says, attend school during the day and ‘work’ at night. Some are even their family’s breadwinners with most of them coming from slums.

Most CSWs, Omollo says, prefer to be referred to as single mothers. This way, they try to justify the fact that they are involved in commercial sex to feed their children.

While the CDN advises CSWs on the dangers of their job, Omollo says the challenge lies in giving them an alternative means of livelihood. “Most of them are willing to leave the commercial sex trade if they are funded for an alternative source of income, but sometimes we are faced by financial constrains to fund such projects.”

According to Omollo, about 60 Nakuru CSWs have benefited from the program and have been helped to start businesses.

While Nakuru District Commissioner Kangethe Thuku admits to having received the report on the rise in numbers of CSWs, the government has yet to do anything about curbing the situation. “I am planning to discuss the issue with the Security Committee to see how the women can be arrested and charged before court,” he told me.

Thuku advises CSWs to reform, form groups, and take advantage of the Women Enterprise Fund offered by the Ministry of Gender and Children Affairs. Such women will be taken to a government hospital for HIV testing, treatment, and counseling.

Thuku blames inflation and the fast growth of the town of Nakuru for the increase in CSWs. The government has already started several projects to fight poverty, especially among women. Under the Women Enterprise Fund, women are funded to start businesses and given a grace period of three months to repay at an interest of eight percent.

While poverty may surely be blamed for increased prostitution in this region, women also need to become creative and active. They need to learn that there are better, more decent ways of earning a living.

Source: http://thewip.net/contributors/2012/03/inflation_in_kenya_drives_wome.html

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Kenya: Beyond Expectations

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

In Kenya the poor are not giving up, thanks to a unique program that taps their talents.

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Kenyan graffiti artists step up battle against ‘vulture’ politicians

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

It’s after 2am and Boniface Mwangi and his crew are ready for action. A portable generator roars into life, a projector balanced on a stack of cardboard boxes clicks on, and a sketch of bald-headed, big-beaked vultures in suits appears on the blank wall of a public toilet on Koinange Street in central Nairobi.

“Let’s start this thing,” says Mwangi. Five men in yellow fluorescent jackets, the kind city council workers wear,  pick up spray cans and start tracing the sketch they prepared earlier.

The chemical smell of the paint is nose-ticklingly sharp but the message the young men are spraying is even sharper. The mural depicts members of Kenya’s parliament as vultures, with one carrying a briefcase labelled “stolen loot”. The text reads: “Describe your MP vulture” but the word “MP” has been crossed out with red paint. A list of options is given: thieves, irresponsible, selfish, pathetic, missing in action.

This is the team’s latest strike in a dead-of-night graffiti revolution they hope will encourage Kenyans to ditch politicians widely viewed as corrupt, ineffective and divisive at the next elections, likely either in December, or at the latest, in March next year.

“When guys are going to work, they see this,” Mwangi says, “and they remember, ‘my member of parliament is an idiot, a thug, he stole our land.'” A week ago, the crew spent the night stencilling “vote the vultures out of parliament” (in Swahili) on about 40 city junctions. They painted another mural in the business district on 28 February.

The artists – Uhuru B, Swift, Smokillah, Bankslave and another man who prefers not to be named – work fast, shaking, spraying, surveying. “It’s for the cause – revolution,” says Uhuru B, 26. “We have to wake people’s minds … and a picture is worth a thousand words …If it’s not us, it won’t be done. We’ve got the resources, we’ve got the skills. It’s the now.”

Boniface Mwangi

Boniface Mwangi

Bankslave, a stocky 28-year-old with dreadlocks, doesn’t say much but when he does, it’s to the point. “Activists, photojournalists and graffiti artists,” he said, describing the team. “And it takes balls.”

The latest mural on Koinange Street does not just target MPs. Beside a picture of a faceless man in a suit, it reads: “Corporate Kenya join us in speaking against tribal politics. Stop sleeping with the vultures.” A little lower, there is a message for the wired youth in East Africa‘s tech hub: “Middle-class Kenyans get off Twitter and Facebook and do something positive offline.”

Mwangi, an award-winning photojournalist, is the instigator of these acts of artistic defiance. His aim is to bring about a ballot revolution by persuading Kenyans to kick out a political class long blamed for exploiting tribal differences to win power, and accused of a long record of corruption. His portfolio includes searing pictures of the chaos that followed the last elections in 2007, when more than 1,200 were killed in ethnic violence.

The father-of-three does not want to relive those days. He decries a culture of impunity among politicians, many of whom have been tarnished by corruption scandals that emerge regularly with no lasting consequences.


He once sold secondhand books on the street before turning to photography after someone gave him a biography of the Kenyan photojournalist Mo Amin, whose images of the Ethiopian famine in 1984 helped spur the global awakening that led to Live Aid.

Mwangi worked for local newspapers and won several awards, including CNN Africa photojournalist of the year in 2008 and 2010.

He also founded Picha Mtaani, an organisation that focuses on reconciliation through photography and debate, and recently set up Pawa254 , a hub for young creative Kenyans that will shortly launch a Kickstarter or crowdfunding campaign.

He says the toilet mural will probably be the last in the centre of Nairobi – there aren’t enough blank walls – but his wider action plan includes screening documentaries urging reconciliation and hosting youth forums to try to engage people in politics. “We are trying to encourage men and women of integrity to vie for elective office because if they don’t, you’ll just find vultures on the ballot … If they don’t, we are doomed.” His biggest fear is that people won’t pay attention. “I’ll be so disappointed because I’m not sleeping, I’m here at night. If we do all this and we don’t get the ballot revolution, it will be an … anti-climax.”

President Mwai Kibaki, whose disputed victory in 2007 brought Kenya to the brink of disaster, cannot stand again. The prime minister, Raila Odinga, who lost to Kibaki and is from a different tribe, is expected to run.

The other declared candidates include Uhuru Kenyatta, deputy prime minister and son of founding father Jomo Kenyatta, and William Ruto. These last two are among four men due to stand trial at the international criminal court for instigating the post-election violence.

Mwangi’s team painted their first political mural on the night of 28 February near the city market. It shows an MP as a vulture, sitting on a chair, his feet grinding into a women’s head. “MPs screwing Kenyans since 1963,” reads a footnote. The MP is saying: “I am a tribal leader … I steal their taxes, grab land but the idiots will still vote for me.”

“I just wish they could do it all over town and in every constituency,” said Kevin Wambua, a 23-year-old student. “It’s telling the truth about how we have been taken for a ride by leaders,” said businesswoman Esther Kiratu.

According to Mwangi, there are many animals used by Kenyans to describe their politicians, but his team chose the vulture “because the vulture feeds on the weak, the dead. It’s a scavenger.”

This time, the writing on the wall was destined to be short-lived. Just hours after the team finished painting the public toilets, city council workers turned up and covered the mural with blue paint. Mwangi remains defiant: “We will go back and paint it again. We won’t give up.”

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/21/kenya-graffiti-artists-politicians-vultures

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Family in Thika mourn Kenyan woman who died in Dubai month after brutal attack

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

The Late Esther Mwikamba

The Late Esther Mwikamba

A family in Thika is mourning the death of their daughter, killed by rogues in Dubai. Three men attacked Esther Wanjiru after she tried to stop a man from touching one of her friends indecently. In a tragic turn of events, her mother instantly suffered a stroke when she got news of her daughters passing and as Sheila Sendeyo reports, this is the latest incident pointing to Kenyans suffering mistreatment abroad.

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Judith Tebbutt: UK hostage kidnapped in Kenya freed

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

A Briton seized in a raid in Kenya, in which her husband was killed, has been freed after six months held in Somalia.

Judith Tebbutt, 56, from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, was flown to Nairobi after her family paid the pirates a ransom for her release.

She said she was “very relieved” to be free and looking forward to seeing her “fantastic” son Oliver.

Her husband David, 58, was shot by a gang of six men at their remote holiday resort in Kiwayu, north of Lamu island.

‘A good man’

Mrs Tebbutt, a social worker, who is believed to be deaf and was wearing a double hearing aid, said: “I’m very relieved to have been released. Seven months is a long time. Under the circumstances, with my husband passing away, it made it harder.

“I’m just happy to be released and I’m looking forward to seeing my son who successfully secured my release. I don’t know how he did it, but he did, which is great.”

She said she was still coming to terms with her husband’s death, which she only found out about two weeks after she was kidnapped.

“I feel extremely sad. Very, very sad indeed. He was a good man. That was very unfortunate. Really horrible. But you’ve just got to pick up the pieces…. and move on,” she said.

“I didn’t know he’d died ’til about two weeks from my capture. I just assumed he was alive but then my son told me… that was difficult.”

She landed in Nairobi on Wednesday where she will be looked after by officials from the British embassy before being flown back to the UK to be reunited with friends and relatives.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman confirmed the release and said the government would provide consular care in Nairobi.

He said it did not pay ransoms and did not “facilitate concessions to hostage takers”, but had met the family regularly to discuss the case.

It is understood Mrs Tebbutt’s son Oliver is in the Kenyan city to greet her.

Richard Harrington, the Conservative MP for Watford, where Mr Tebbutt lives, told the BBC: “I’ve waited for this day for so long I can’t tell you.

“I mean my feelings are obviously nothing compared to those of the family, but I’m just so delighted that this has happened and that Oliver will be reunited with his mother.”

Mrs Tebbutt was seized on 11 September last year from Kiwayu Safari Village, a luxury resort on a deserted stretch of Kenyan coastline, comprised of thatched cottages on the beach.

The couple had arrived only the previous day and were the only guests.

She was taken away in a speedboat by Somali pirates, after her husband had been killed.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said a private security company had secured her release, not British officials.

He said it was unclear how much money was involved, and revealing the amount was generally discouraged to avoid copy-cat gangs.

Paying the ransom was not illegal because it was not known to be going to a terrorist organisation, he added.

“She will now become the key witness in the ongoing murder investigation of her husband David,” our correspondent said.

East Africa correspondent Will Ross, in Nairobi, said the ransom had been paid in the last three days.

‘Al-Qaeda links’

“The British government does not pay ransoms, it’s against the idea, but it certainly doesn’t seem to have stood in the way of the family to secure Judith Tebbutt’s release,” he said.

Police in Kenya said six gunmen had burst into the Tebbutts’ room last September and officers speculated that Mr Tebbutt may have tried to resist the gang.

He worked for publisher Faber & Faber and sat on the board of the Book Trade Charity, which supports those in the book trade.

Book Trade’s chief executive, David Hicks, said of Mrs Tebbutt’s release: “This sounds wonderful, though I’ll only really be happy when it’s definite that she’s safe.”

The Kenyan government said at the time of the kidnap that it believed the al-Shabab Islamist group, which has since merged with al-Qaeda, was behind the murder and kidnap. The group denied the allegation.

Last October Kenya sent troops into its neighbour in pursuit of the militants and in support of the weak interim Somali government, which controls only the capital, Mogadishu, and a few other areas.

Rachel Chandler, who was held with her husband Paul for 13 months by pirates in Somalia, said: “My feeling is one of relief and happiness for Judith Tebbutt and her family, that finally she is free.”

Mr Chandler added: “I hope she will have an opportunity to pick up the pieces of her life, and deal with the loss she has had.”

EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton said she was delighted Mrs Tebbutt was finally free and would work hard to fight the “scourge” of piracy and kidnapping in the horn of Africa.

Last year, two men appeared in court in connection with the attack, with both denying the charges.

One of them, Ali Babitu Kololo, told the court he had been forced at gunpoint to lead a group of men to the hotel and had not been a willing accomplice.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17455284

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Kenya Diaspora Summit-in Boston, MA on April 14th-15th, 2012

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

Posted in Announcements | Comments Off on Kenya Diaspora Summit-in Boston, MA on April 14th-15th, 2012

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